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Home / Business / Google Antitrust investigation: 48 US states have selected Google as the target of a new antitrust investigation

Google Antitrust investigation: 48 US states have selected Google as the target of a new antitrust investigation



  • Advocates General for 50 US states are currently investigating whether Google violates antitrust laws.
  • The research initially focuses on whether Google exerts excessive market dominance in the online advertising market and when searching the Internet.
  • A result Antitrust authorities could investigate whether Google is forced to outsource the search as a separate company.

Fifty Attorneys General, led by Texas, have announced an investigation into Google's "possible monopolistic behavior". Attorney General investigates whether the Silicon Valley search giant has grown too large and may be too effective to eradicate competitors.

The investigation will initially focus on the advertising market and whether Google violated the law to gain a dominant position in the industry. "This is a company that controls all aspects of Internet advertising, as it , Seller and auction site, "said Paxton. He later added, "If the cost of advertising is higher, advertisers pay more and that will eventually be passed on to consumers."

Advocates-General in 48 states, as well as in Washington, DC and Puerto Rico are carrying out separate investigations. The Attorney Generals of California and Alabama are not involved in the investigation.

Market Dominance

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $ 820 billion and had $ 1

37 billion in revenue and $ 31 billion in revenue last year. Google controls so many aspects of the Internet that it is hard to imagine surfing the Internet for long without using at least one of its services.

The judicial authorities that investigated the company on Monday focused on its dominance in advertising and search. Nine out of ten online searches are conducted through Google, and the company has been criticized for prioritizing its affiliates in the search results.

"When my daughter is ill and I search for advice or doctors online, I want the best – the best advices or the best doctors – not the ones who spend the most on advertising," said Leslie Rutledge, Attorney General of Arkansas ,

Last week, online project management company Basecamp complained that Google's paid search ads were similar to a "shakedown" that it had to pay to make sure its service appeared before the competitors' ads.

Feds investigating large technology companies for antitrust violations

European regulators have fined Google for advertising their own shopping service. The company appeals the fine.

According to estimates by eMarketer, Google will control 31% of the world's digital advertising costs this year, shattering a second place on Facebook. And many smaller advertisers have argued that Google has such a stranglehold on the market that it becomes a system, as Google calls it – because the alternative might be not reaching customers.

"It's like trying to buy a house, and Google owned the house and many houses in your block, and they were both the buyer's agent and the seller's agent," said Eric Schmitt, Attorney General from Missouri. "It would certainly raise questions."

"Advertisers are definitely worried that Google is exercising far too much power in setting tariffs and favoring their own services over others," said Jen King, privacy director at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. 19659008] DoubleClick Purchase

Critics often refer to Google's acquisition of DoubleClick's online advertising company in 2007.

The European antitrust authorities cleared Google in March with a $ 1.7 billion fine for advertisers Disadvantage for competitors in the online advertising business.

Google has long argued that while businesses are big, they are useful and beneficial to consumers. But it seems that regulators are increasingly looking after not just the impact on ordinary Internet users, but also smaller companies.

"On the one hand, you could just say," Well, Google is dominant because they are good, "said King. "At the same time, an ecosystem has been created that communicates the entire Internet experience of people through Google's homepage and other Google products."

A separate group of states announced Friday an investigation into the dominance of Facebook. The Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and Congress are also conducting investigations on Facebook and Google.

Spin-off of search engine business?

One finding antitrust authorities could investigate is forcing Google to outsource the search as a separate company. Then there is Google's Android smartphone operating system. Another acquisition of Google, the system, is the world's most used.

European regulators imposed on Google a fine of $ 5 billion for tactics with Android. Since then, Google has granted more options for alternative browser and search apps for European Android phones.

Dan Patterson Trying to End Google

It's also possible that the US states are not following in the footsteps of Europe. For example, you could focus on areas like Google's popular YouTube video site, another Google 2006 acquisition.

Google manager Walker emphasized that the company's products help people every day.

One of the largest US spending on research and development, investment spurring innovation: what was science fiction a few years ago is now free to anyone. You can instantly translate any language, learn to phone objects and get an answer to just about any question you might have, "he wrote.

Irina Ivanova of CBS News contributed to the coverage. [19659030]
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