What you need to know
- An antitrust investigation against Google in the U.S. might lead to a lawsuit in the fall.
- The investigation started out as a probe into Google's online advertising business but later delved into its Search and Android operations.
- A Google spokeswoman confirms the companies continued cooperation with law enforcement, but could not comment on potential results.
Google may be facing a lawsuit from the United States Department of Justice later this fall as the body wraps up its antitrust investigation. The story comes after a nearly yearlong probe which ran from last June. It started as an investigation into the company's online advertising practices and eventually expanded its scope into its Google Search and Android businesses as well. An investigation from Indian authorities in 2019 also revolved around the same subject matter.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
At least some state attorneys general—led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican—are likely to file a case, probably in the fall, people familiar with the matter said.
Much of the states' investigation has focused on Google's online advertising business. The company owns the dominant tool at every link in the complex chain between online publishers and advertisers. The Justice Department likewise is making Google's ad technology one of its points of emphasis. But it is also focusing more broadly on concerns that Google uses its dominant search business to stifle competition, people familiar with the matter said.
In response to the story, a Google spokeswoman gave the following statement to the Journal:
We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don't have any updates or comments on speculation. Our focus is firmly on providing services that help consumers, support thousands of businesses and enable increased choice and competition.