WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Dozens of Republican and Democratic attorneys general are teaming up to investigate Google.
Specifically, they’re looking into whether the tech giant is a monopoly and violating US anti-trust laws.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the investigation.
“They dominate the buyer’s side, the seller’s side, the auction side and even the video side by YouTube,” Paxton said.
South Dakota’s Attorney General Jason Ravensborg said the attorneys general will start by looking at Google’s advertising practices.
“Do you get the best person at the top of the search or do you get the one that pays the most?” Ravensborg said.
They say that’s especially important when people are searching for doctors or other critical services.
“We’re talking about potentially looking at ads, search, privacy, all of those different aspects,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said.
Reyes said consumers may not understand they pay to use Google by giving of their personal information.
“I don’t think the average American understands how much Google is involved in their lives,” Reyes said.
Notably missing from this investigation are attorneys general of Alabama and California — where Google has its headquarters.
Carl Szabo with NetChoice said Google is not a monopoly — in part because alternative search engines are just a click away.
“Let’s remember the FTC just a couple of years ago looked into Google on antitrust issues and found that there was no issue there,” Szabo said.
In a statement, Google’s SVP of global affairs said “We look forward to showing how we are investing in innovation, providing services that people want and engaging in robust and fair competition.