States Expected to Announce Antitrust Probe of Google Next Week

September 4, 2019by Ben Brody
Google headquarters on Jan. 24, 2016, in Mountain View, Calif. Many tech companies in Silicon Valley are coming under scrutiny from U.S. antitrust enforcers. (Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA/TNS)

WASHINGTON — More than half of state attorneys general are planning to open an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc.’s Google next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Multiple states are planning to announce the coordinated probe on Sept. 9, said three people, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive deliberations. The plans could change.

U.S. antitrust enforcers have already taken preliminary steps toward a probe of the search giant, which is also a major player in online ads and mobile operating systems. It has faced antitrust investigations in Europe as well.

The Washington Post previously reported the state investigation. It was not immediately clear what the probe would focus on or which states would participate.

A group of state attorneys general said in June at an enforcement workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission that they are examining a wide range of practices, including data collection, digital advertising and innovation, among large tech companies.

Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said the company continues “to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector.”

With assistance from Erik Larson.

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©2019 Bloomberg News

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