Google is reportedly the subject of a probe including 50 state attorneys general.
According to CNET, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the investigation, which currently focuses on Google’s advertising practices. Other attorneys general taking part include Karl Racine of Washington, D.C., and Doug Peterson of Nebraska.
Google is no stranger to government inquiries, both inside and outside the U.S. In July, representatives from Google joined executives from Apple, Amazon, and Facebook to testify in a Washington, D.C., hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel. This move followed increasing calls, including from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), for the federal government to determine if major technology platforms enjoy an unfair advantage in e-commerce and consumer Internet usage.
And in March 2019, the European Commission, which implements decisions and manages day-to-day operations for the EU, fined Google $1.7 billion for what it calls “abusive practices” in online advertising. In January 2019, a French regulatory body fined Google $57 million for what it said were violations of the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guarding consumer privacy. Google is currently appealing the fines.