Attorneys general of 50 states and territories have launched an antitrust investigation into Google and its business practices. “We’re here because there’s an absolutely existential threat to our virtual marketplace,” Jeff Landry, a Republican from Louisiana, said during the announcement. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the investigation, said that for now, the states have only opened an investigation and are not bringing a lawsuit against the company, which he alleged “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet.” The bipartisan investigation is being led by four Democrats and four Republicans in total. Notably absent are the states of Alabama and California, the home of Silicon Valley.
Google has increasingly faced criticism and federal scrutiny into whether the company has become too large and has made the web a more costly and poorer service for users. Paxton said the probe’s initial focus would be on online advertising. “Google monitors our online behavior, and captures data on every one of us as we navigate the internet,” she said. “This investigation will initially focus on capture of that information and whether Google embedded itself on every level of the online market [for] ad sales to monopolize this industry,” she said.