The Ministry of Justice and Google declined to comment.
The Justice Department launched an investigation into Google last year, a probe that initially seemed to focus on the company’s advertising business but has since captured the dominant footprint in online search. This marks the first major entanglement between the US government and the technology giant since 2013, when federal officials last examined Google under antitrust law, but decided not to file a lawsuit challenging the company. Meanwhile, European regulators have hit Google with billions of dollars in fines for violating antitrust laws.
The department was overseeing a September case against Google. U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr tried to speed up the agency this summer by dismissing dozens of federal agents who said they needed extra time before they could file a lawsuit against Google, The Washington Post reported earlier .
State prosecutors, meanwhile, launched their own bipartisan probe last summer, an investigation led by Texas Attorney Ken Paxton (R). This also expanded significantly after Democratic and Republican leaders announced their intentions in the footsteps of the Supreme Court in Washington. It remains unclear which countries may eventually join the Ministry of Justice in any case they file in the coming days, or whether they could file their own additional complaints. Some Democrat advocates have also signaled that they may want to wait until the 2020 presidential election before deciding on their next steps.
In addition to Google̵
The two said President Trump is expected to join the meeting, which comes weeks after the Justice Department publicly called on Congress to pass radical changes to the law known as Section 230. Bar and the Justice Department approved the revisions in part because of allegations that the sites on social media, including Google’s proprietary YouTube, they moderate online content in a way that censors conservative users and views.
Trump has repeated these allegations, usually without providing evidence, and many Silicon Valley tech companies have vehemently denied the allegations. Earlier this year, the president signed an executive order that opened the door for the U.S. government to take control of political speech on the Internet – and many technology giants, through supporting NGOs, have challenged its constitutionality in court.
“Online censorship goes far beyond the issue of freedom of speech, as well as protecting consumers and ensuring that they are informed of their rights and resources in response to the law,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. “Attorneys General are at the forefront of this issue, and President Trump wants to hear their prospects.”