Phoenix, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Tuesday that he is part of an Executive Committee leading a nationwide antitrust investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices. Arizona along with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 48 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will investigate Google’s dominant control of online advertising and search traffic that may be harming consumers and publishers.
“Information is power and the most powerful source of information today is the Internet,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We are concerned that Google’s sustained dominance in the market has been achieved not simply on the merits of its products, but also through business practices designed to thwart and eliminate competition."
Past investigations of Google have uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the United States to multiple antitrust actions brought by the European Commission. None of these previous investigations fully addressed Google’s serial and repeated business practices designed to protect and maintain their industry dominance. While the attorney generals’ initial inquiries are focused on Google’s control of advertising markets and exchanges, the investigation will not be limited once presented with additional facts and evidence.
"With one company dominating the dissemination and flow of information online, we cannot ignore concerns of business practices that may be undermining consumer choice, stifling innovation, and violating the privacy of users," said Brnovich. "There are some tough questions to ask concerning possible anti-competitive behavior, the voluminous amounts of personal information companies are collecting and what happens with that data, and the lack of free-market competition. With this much at stake, consumers deserve more transparency, safeguards and choices."
Joining Arizona on the bipartisan Executive Committee are the states of Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Texas. 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 open digital markets.