It looks like authorities are starting to really take the issue seriously.
After having already been placed under investigation at the Federal level, earlier this summer, now the State AGs are training their sights on Google.
The execs at Google has every reason to be nervous… because an adverse ruling here wouldn’t result in getting hit with a mere fine. It could lead to a complete change to the company.
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 probe includes attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not involved in the probe, Paxton said at a press conference.
…The state investigations put an additional layer of pressure on [Google and Facebook], 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.
The attorneys general involved in the Google probe said their investigation would remain independent from those of other areas of government.
…But antitrust, compared with privacy and consumer protection concerns, poses a more direct threat to these companies’ business models. If the federal or state probes find evidence of anti-competitive behavior at Google, for example, the company could be compelled to make its algorithms friendlier to rivals even if that eats at its own profits. It could also be forced to spin off entire business units, such as YouTube.
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