Texas attorney general joins 50 others in Google investigation

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks about an investigation into Google in Washington D.C. Sept. 9, 2019 (KXAN Photo/Kate Winkle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is among a bipartisan group of 50 attorneys general announcing an investigation into Google. They are specifically looking into its “potential monopolistic behavior,” as District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine put it.

In a release, Paxton’s office described the effort as “a multistate investigation into whether large tech companies have engaged in anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition, restricted access, and harmed consumers.”

The attorneys general gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. as Paxton announced the effort. He emphasized the attorneys general are not filing a lawsuit, but instead are investigating Google’s use of advertising.

“The facts will lead where the facts lead,” Paxton said.

Racine said in particular the attorneys general will look at Google searches and how they affect consumers and local businesses, saying an “overwhelming” number of search results relate to Google-owned businesses and its advertisers.

“While many consumers believe the internet is free, certainly we know from Google’s profits of $117 billion that the internet is not free,” Paxton said. “And this is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet as they dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and even the video side with YouTube.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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