Connecticut Joins Multi-State Investigation Of Google

South Dakota joining nationwide investigation of Google

"It is not a stretch to say that most South Dakotans, and Americans, think of Google first when searching the internet".

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ has also begun its own antitrust investigation into Google. The company has faced much scrutiny in recent years, however, even racking up $9 billion in competition-related fines in Europe in the past three years.

Historically, the U.S. has lagged Europe and other countries when it comes to regulating the tech companies.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading 50 states in a bipartisan investigation of Google's business practices. And California is known for its aggressive regulatory approach when it comes to the tech sector, passing the nation's only digital privacy law past year. "If, however, the facts uncovered in this investigation lead us to other conclusions, then we must pursue appropriate follow-up actions to protect the free market".

Pennsylvania's Josh Shapiro added, "We're looking into whether Google's business practices have undermined free market competition - and hurt consumers".

"The Internet is not free".

Google expects the state authorities will ask the company about past similar investigations in the USA and internationally, senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker wrote in a blog post Friday. "We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so", Google said in the post.

California, where Google has headquarters, did not join the other states in their effort.

The probe includes AGs from 48 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, with California and Alabama the only two states whose AGs are not involved.

The investigation is the latest sign of the rapidly expanding antitrust investigations confronting Google along with other giant USA technology companies.

In response legislators are seeking to "level the playing field" and help reintroduce competition to a sector in which Google now enjoys a near-monopoly, fueling accusations that it is drawing consumers to its products ahead of rivals.

Tara Gallegos, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, would not confirm or deny any state investigation. "Google will be in control of most of those searches", he alleged. The probe features Republicans, Democrats, and politicians across the political spectrum.

"They dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side, and the video side with YouTube", the Texas attorney general charged. "I'm next to friends of mine I vehemently disagree with on issues like immigration, reproductive rights, gun rights and other issues".

"We are acting as one today, in regards to launching what I know will be a full and fair investigation", he said.

District of Columbia AG Karl Racine said investigators want to hear from Google's employees, consumers, and competitors about any evidence of wrongdoing.

The company - and peers such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple - have long argued that although their businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers.

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