TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody and attorneys general from across the country today announced an investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices to ascertain if these practices are in compliance with state and federal antitrust laws.
The bipartisan coalition, in which Florida has a leadership role, announced plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. 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.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This investigation will initially focus on Google’s dominant role in the internet advertising space. As a result of this dominance, Google has developed into a commercial behemoth that can control, manipulate and command commerce not just in Florida, but across the entire United States and world. This is very concerning to me and should be concerning to all of us.”
Past investigations of Google uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the United States to three recent antitrust actions brought by the European Commission. None of these previous investigations, however, fully addressed the source of Google’s sustained market power and the ability to engage in repeated business practices with the intention to protect and maintain that power.