WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) – The country’s top state attorneys are setting their sights on Big Tech.
Nearly every attorney general has joined forces and announced a sweeping antitrust investigation into a staple of Silicon Valley – Google.
“Most Americans think it’s free to Google something, but it comes at a cost,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
The tech giant, synonymous with an Internet search, is now the subject of an antitrust probe from nearly every attorney general in the country.
The bipartisan group says Google has a history of stifling competition.
“Take a position at a company, find out what their technology is and then roll out their own competing service,” said Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.
The states’ top attorneys also want to investigate the impact the tech giant’s business is having on consumers.
“Advertisers are able to strategically target their audiences.
Unfortunately, this also means that Google’s dominance now allows them to pick winners and losers in this exchange,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
But tech advocacy groups say these attorneys general don’t have a case.
“This is going to be a witch hunt that ends up wasting taxpayer dollars,” said NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo.
Szabo says the AGs will have to prove tech companies have market power and also show the companies abuse it.
“If we start enforcing it against businesses we don’t like because we just don’t like them, then that sets a bad precedent going forward for all businesses and our abuse of political positions,” Szabo said.
However, attorneys general aren’t the first to target Google.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced its own antitrust investigation, while the European Union slapped the company with a fine of nearly $2 billion earlier this year.
This group says it’s too early to say what kind of remedies Google would face after the investigation. The only attorneys general not involved are California and Alabama.