UPDATED 10:13 AM PT — Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Two of the world’s largest tech giants are under the microscope across the U.S. On Monday, 50 attorneys general announced a sweeping bipartisan probe into Google with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton leading the charge.
“This investigation is not a lawsuit, it is an investigation to determine the facts,” said Paxton. “And right now we’re looking at advertising, but the facts will lead to where the facts lead.”
He and others are looking into Google’s advertising business, and whether it’s stifled competition. There are also concerns over biased search results as well as worries about privacy.
“But the question for us today is whether Google has strayed from its founding principles to not do evil in its search and relentless drive to be the market dominant player,” stated Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “And again, that is what our investigation together bipartisan jointly will uncover.”
This comes after New York Attorneys General Letitia James announced an anti-trust violation into Facebook last week. The effort includes seven other states as well as the District of Columbia. They are looking into whether Facebook has stifled competition or put its users at risk. This includes its dominance in the industry and its potential anti-competitive behavior as a result.
Facebook is already in the midst of a separate antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, which recently received a settlement over the platform’s privacy policies.
The probes could result in algorithm changes for Facebook and Google to make it friendlier for rivals to compete. Both tech giants have responded optimistically to the news, saying they are happy to work constructively on the issue.