Alaska has joined a multistate, bipartisan investigation into Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws.
The Department of Law issued a release Monday saying 49 attorney generals, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, are investigating Google’s “overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic which may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers.”
“Legal experts from each state will work with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure Americans have access to free digital markets,” the release says.
Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson gave this statement in the release:
“A free and competitive market is vital to smaller businesses to be able to compete, and this is especially true in Alaska where businesses are trying to market beyond our borders both nationally and internationally. Alaska has a vibrant and growing small business community that relies increasingly on internet advertising. This is also true of digital publishers, such as newspapers, websites, and blogs. Anticompetitive conduct of the kind we are investigating has the potential to harm Alaskan businesses through artificial hikes in cost and stifling innovation.”
Other investigations into Google’s conduct in the past uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the U.S. to three antitrust actions brought by the European Commission, according to the release.
However, the release says none of the other investigations fully addressed Google’s sustained market power or the ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices with the intention to protect and maintain that power.