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More than half of nation's state attorneys can go into antitrust investigation against Google



Photo: Drew Anger (AP)

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that "more than half of the general counsel nation's state attorneys "have signed up and are preparing an antitrust investigation against Google's digital titanium, and the paper, which reads the letter, will be announced next week, which will mark a major escalation in US regulators' efforts to investigate silicon. them in the valley. "

Details of the investigation remain vague, but the Post reports that the effort is" expected "to be bipartisan and more than 30 state attorneys may participate. The state investigation is still separate from another review of antitrust scrutiny currently under way by the Justice Department, coming as both Democrats in the campaign and the Trump administration have stepped up pressure on tech giants (albeit with completely different ones) reasons)). The Post writes:

A smaller group of those officials representing the broader coalition are expected to open Monday's press conference in Washington, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the prosecution under the protocol, warning plans to change.

It is unclear whether some or all attorneys-general also plan to open or announce further investigations into their other giants, including Amazon and Facebook, which face similar antitrust controls in the US. The state's efforts are expected to be bipartisan and may involve more than 30 lawyers, one of the people said.

While it is unclear whether any DOJ staff will join the attorney general during an expected announcement next week, The Post wrote, Antitrust Agency Chief Macan Delrahim said in August that the DOJ was coordinating with state surveys possible violations of antitrust legislation by technical companies. The Feds are currently conducting a number of such antitrust investigations, including studies by the Federal Trade Commission on Facebook (separate from the smallest $ 5 billion fine it imposed on the company earlier this year) and Apple's Amazon and DOJ probe.

As published, we note that states have more limited powers than the federal ones, which can divide entire companies based on anti-competitive law. However, states can join the federal courts, as they did during Microsoft's antitrust investigation in the 1990s, and get Google involved in years of legal battles. Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Hansler told the paper: "If many states – and I mean not just Democratic attorneys general, but also Republican attorneys general – are looking for potential antitrust violations, one of the biggest effects could be the pressure on the federal government to dive deeper. "


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