Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and his New York counterpart Letitia James have joined a bipartisan investigation by 50 attorneys general into whether Google’s business practices have run afoul of state and federal antitrust laws.The coalition plans to probe Google’s dominance of online advertising markets and search traffic. They will determine whether the tech giant’s strategies harm consumers while muscling out competition. As part of the investigation, legal experts from each state will consult with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the multistate endeavor.
“Free and open access to the internet is no longer a luxury – it is a critical component of doing business in the 21st century,” Tong said. “Connecticut today has joined with states across the nation in opening an antitrust investigation into whether Google’s business practices have thwarted competition and undermined consumer choice, particularly in the online advertising market. We will not prejudge the direction or outcome of this investigation, but are committed to following the facts in whatever direction they take us.”
“Google’s control over nearly every aspect of our lives has placed the company at the center of our digital economy,” James said. “But it doesn’t take a search engine to understand that unchecked corporate power shouldn’t eclipse consumers’ rights. That is why New York has joined this bipartisan investigation of Google to determine whether the company has achieved or maintained its dominance through anticompetitive conduct. As with the Facebook investigation we are leading, we will use every investigative tool at our disposal in the Google investigation to ensure the truth is exposed.”
Last week, James announced her own probe into possible antitrust actions by the social media giant Facebook. Joining Attorney General James on the leadership team investigating Facebook are the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.
“We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising,” James said.