Monday, September 9, 2019

Attorney General Shapiro Joins Other AG's with Investigation into Google's Business Practices

Attorney General Josh Shapiro and 49 other Attorneys General today announced the launch of an investigation into tech giant Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal laws. The bipartisan coalition will investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers.

“Pennsylvanians deserve access to an internet where they can watch, read, and share freely,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Google’s impact on the lives of everyday Americans and the economy is pervasive—it is the dominant player in online advertising and it has the power to control information and commerce around the world. As such, Google has a responsibility to consumers to ensure that the internet remains free and fair. I’m proud to stand with my colleague Attorneys General today to announce that we are holding Google accountable for that responsibility and launching an investigation into whether their business practices have undermined free market competition and hurt consumers.”

Throughout the investigation, legal experts from each state will work in cooperation with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure that Americans have access to free digital markets.

The investigation by the Attorneys General will be the first of its kind to address fully the source of Google’s sustained market power and the ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices with the intention to protect and maintain that power. Prior investigations uncovered violations—such as the advertising of illegal drugs in the United States—and resulted in the European Commission bringing three antitrust actions against Google.

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