Fifty attorneys general are backing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s official announcement of an antitrust probe into Google’s dominance in online advertising.
The announcement, made Monday, excludes Alabama as well as California, the state run by Governor Gavin Newsom, who is related to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The missing AGs from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico brought the number to 50.
The probe, which begins with a focus on dominance in web advertising, has already requested that Google hand over documents related to the business. Privacy and user data are other topics that the probe will investigate.
Paxton said the states are acting as one — Republicans and Democrats — and will follow the facts through the course of the investigation.
Analyst firm eMarketer estimates that this year Google will reach a milestone -- surpassing 20% of all U.S. ad spend, among total media share for online and offline.
Today’s news confirms last week’s report that attorneys general from states and territories would join an antitrust probe into Google.
A Google SEC filing on Friday also reveals that the company received a subpoena from the Department of Justice, but a blog post by Kent Walker, SVP of global affairs at Google, suggests that other companies will come under fire, writing that the Department of Justice has announced it is beginning a review of online platforms.
In the post he admits the right that governments should have oversight to ensure all successful companies, including Google, are complying with the law.
“The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions,” Walker wrote in the post. “We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so.”