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Google hit with huge US antitrust probe

(Image credit: Image Credit: Asif Islam / Shutterstock)

Google is set to face a major investigation from the US government (opens in new tab) concerning possible monopoly abuse in the advertising industry.

According to Reuters, attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are joining forces to investigate if Google is playing fair in the advertising industry. California and Alabama will be sitting this one out.

Leading the probe is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said the focus of the investigation will be the company’s “overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behaviour that harms consumers.”

The 48 states have asked Google, earlier this week, to share documents on how it runs its advertising operations. Paxton calls this part of the investigation as “preliminary” and expects it to expand into other segments, such as data privacy, as well.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the probe was “for the benefit of the tech ecosystem to help level the playing field.”

This is not the first time Google has faced various governments around the world, under accusations of monopoly abuse. Last summer, the company was fined $5 billion by the European Union (opens in new tab), for illegally tying its mobile browser Chrome, as well as its search app, to the Android operating system.

The company was also fined by the French government (opens in new tab) for failing to provide users with transparent and understandable information on its data use policies.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.