Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Arizona Joins Antitrust Investigation Of Google

48 US states announced an investigation into Google on Sept 9 2019 to investigate whether the tech company has become too big South Dakota joining nationwide investigation of Google
Jean Garcia | 11 September, 2019, 14:32

Attorney General William Tong announced today CT has joined with 50 attorneys general in a multistate, bipartisan investigation of tech giant Google's business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws.

A smaller group of attorneys general, led by Democrat Letitia James of NY, announced a similar probe of Facebook's market power on Friday.

"They dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side, and the video side with YouTube", Paxton said from the steps of the Supreme Court, as reported by The Washington Post. The initial focus of the joint probe, according to Paxton, will be on the company's online advertising business.

Ashley Moody, the Republican attorney general of Florida, said the states' Google probe starts with the company's vast data stores.

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

Google is already facing an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Google has such a vast control over digital advertising in particular and that's what this investigation is beginning with", Rutledge told "America's Newsroom", adding that she and her counterparts want to "ensure that that power continues to be used for good".

Wendy's to launch breakfast nationwide in 2020
Others are less pessimistic about the move, like Brett Levy, the executive director at MKM Partners, Market Watch reported. The fast food chain delighted fans in August when it announced the return of its spicy chicken nuggets via Twitter .

Senator Josh Hawley, who as Missouri attorney general opened a Google probe in 2017, lauded the announcement on Monday as "a very big day for the folks who care about antitrust enforcement".

Over the past decade, Google has been one of the biggest political donors in Washington, but this time around, the political environment is much less favorable to Google.

Facebook offered no immediate comment, but in the past it has claimed it is not a monopoly and that consumers have many choices for how to connect with people online. "That is why NY has joined this bipartisan investigation of Google to determine whether the company has achieved or maintained its dominance through anticompetitive conduct".

Shares of Google parent Alphabet fell as much as 1% following the announcement and were down less than 1% to $1,202.42 at 3:40 p.m.in NY. Google was also forced to pay a $22.5 million to settle charges that it misrepresented privacy assurances to users of Apple's Safari Internet browser. The company reported US$116.3 billion in ad revenue previous year, which represented 85% of overall sales.

The antitrust investigation will also look into the growing concerns that Google might be stifling the competition.

"It remains to be seen if the (attorneys general) have any merit to their complaints or if they will be conducting a fishing expedition hoping to find some damning evidence", Goldman said.

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