GOOGLE FACES 50 PROBES

  • Texas will lead a joint state investigation into Google over antitrust concerns, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday.
  • The news follows the announcement of a joint state Facebook probe led by the attorney general of New York.
  • Google is also reportedly facing an antitrust probe from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the initiative’s leader, announced Monday.

The news confirms reports last week about the bipartisan investigation into Google’s practices. The bipartisan probe will take place as Facebook faces its own antitrust investigation led by New York Attorney General Letitia James with attorneys general from seven states plus the District of Columbia.

Paxton said the probe will focus on Google’s advertising business, “but the facts will lead where the facts lead.”

Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down about 0.8% around the time of the announcement.

The state investigations put an additional layer of pressure on both companies, which are already facing antitrust scrutiny on the federal level. Facebook confirmed an antitrust probe by the Federal Trade Commission in July after the agency slapped it with a $5 billion fine over its privacy practices. And the Department of Justice will conduct its own antitrust investigation into Google, according to The Wall Street Journal.

So far, regulatory action on the federal level has had a minimal impact on Big Tech. Both Google and Facebook recently received fines from the FTC over their handling of user data that would be considered large by most standards but represented just a small fraction of their quarterly revenues.

www.cnbc.com/2019/09/09/texas-attorney-general-leads-google-antitrust-probe.html

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