Confirmed: 50 state attorneys general have teamed up for a Google antitrust investigation


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Last week, we reported on the rumor that Google could be facing down a massive antitrust investigation headed up by "over half" of the United States' state attorneys general. It seems that information was accurate, as this investigation has been unveiled today.

As reported by The Washington Post, numerous state attorneys general (AG) announced the far-reaching investigation outside of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. It's been confirmed that there will be an astounding 50 attorneys general (AG) participating in the probe. The team will be looking into Google's domination of the Internet advertising and search industries to determine whether or not it has engaged in any anti-competitive business practices.

However, it isn't just antitrust concerns that have sparked this review. As the Post notes, some AGs are concerned about how Google handles user data, and the way the tech giant "processes and ranks" search results.

While the probe wouldn't exist if regulators didn't have concerns about Google, Utah-based AG Sean Reyes says there's a "presumption" of innocence; at least until proof of any law-breaking practices comes to light. Google, for its part, reiterates that it will be fully cooperating with regulators during the coming months.

We'll keep you updated if this deep dive into Google's businesses practices turns up any important information, but we don't expect to see anything for a while. These sorts of investigations can take quite a while to resolve, and it'll usually take even longer for any potential penalties or fines to be discussed and meted out.

Image credit: Shutterstock, Bloomberg via The Washington Post

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Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,714   +1,817
IMO Google is clever enough that these states' AGs won't be able to prove that they're abusing their customers' data for the company's gain. For the same reason that they're the best at extracting data from people's habits, they'll be the best at obfuscating how it is they do that.

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 430   +325
Well, they sure can't claim they didn't have it coming ..... and the rest of the big IT companies are probably starting to squirm a bit .... I hope ....
Yes and No!

Microsoft will not be squirming in the U.S. as long as they hand over anything and everything from your computers - to the feds at taxpayers expense

Microsoft is about to be squirming overseas, but not in the U.S.

Play Ball......or Squirm!
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Steffen Jobbs

Posts: 14   +1
Google is pretty much untouchable by the government as Google controls almost all of the internet. It could really be a mess trying to take Google down. Besides, Google is part of the FANG clan and big investors would never allow Google to be harmed financially. Plenty of wealthy people would definitely protect Google so as not to lose money on their investment. You can easily tell this as even the government is looking into how Google is being run, the stock price is still going up. Big investors are fearless because they know profitable companies won't be touched. That's just how America is being run. The wealthy control everything whether it's good or bad. Personal privacy doesn't count for much when there are massive profits to be made. Data harvesting companies turn personal data into gold and big investors just love that. I have also suspected that Google hands over personal data to U.S. intelligence agencies under the provision that they won't be touched. Google is basically paying for protection from being broken up. Google is like a dirty snitch who law officers tolerate as a useful source to bring down "real" criminals.

If regulators can't touch Facebook, then they surely can't touch Google. That's just how it is in America. When there's lots of money to be made, personal issues get swept away. I never hear anyone complaining about Google stealing personal data. I'm sure by now it's just taken for granted that what's yours is Google's to use freely. Google is like those symbiotic parasites that humans simply accept as one can't live without the other. Everything we touch on the internet is likely dependent upon Google in some form or fashion.

This entire antitrust thing is nothing more than chest-beating or sword-brandishing. Nothing will come of it as nothing became of the Facebook hearings. Facebook is doing as well as ever and has even higher target prices. Same with Google. Analysts are giving Google a target price of around $1450 while the antitrust investigations will be getting underway. No concerns at all.


Posts: 95   +87
Google probably already knows every little deep dark secret of the prosecutors, I expect a symbolic slap on the wrist.


Posts: 285   +155
Who cares, it'll all amount to a slap on the wrist anyway, because the judges won't have the power to throw Google's CEO to prison.