Arizona joins 48 other states in antitrust investigation into Google

By: - September 9, 2019 12:06 pm

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaking after being sworn into office in January 2019. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is joining attorneys general from 48 other states in an antitrust investigation into tech giant Google. 

“We are concerned that Google’s sustained dominance in the market has been achieved not simply on the merits of its products, but also through business practices designed to thwart and eliminate competition,” Brnovich said in a press release about the investigation. 

The attorneys general will look into the company’s online advertising and search traffic methods that “may be harming consumers and publishers,” the AG’s office said in a press release. 

Google is also facing an antitrust probe from the United States Department of Justice and has previously faced an antitrust investigation in Europe. 

California and Alabama are the only states not involved in the investigation. 

If Google is found to have violated antitrust laws, it could be forced to make its algorithms less hostile towards its competitors or be forced to give up certain assets it owns, such as YouTube. 

“With one company dominating the dissemination and flow of information online, we cannot ignore concerns of business practices that may be undermining consumer choice, stifling innovation, and violating the privacy of users,” Brnovich said.

Google has said it intends to work with the Department of Justice as well as the state attorneys general in their investigations.  

“We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president for global affairs, said in a statement. “We look forward to showing how we are investing in innovation, providing services that people want, and engaging in robust and fair competition.”

The multistate probe into Google was originally started by Texas and has quickly gained momentum. This week, other states have also announced investigations into Facebook for similar antitrust issues.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.