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Texas AG Paxton: More States Could File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Google

Additional states could bring more antitrust lawsuits against Google, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said during a Tuesday (Dec. 8) panel discussion with global competition officials, Bloomberg reported.

Paxton, who initiated a 48-state investigation into the search giant last year, said the additional lawsuits could be filed “in the upcoming weeks and months,” according to Bloomberg. He added that there are currently several states looking into antitrust issues concerning the Alphabet-owned firm’s search function.

An antitrust complaint was filed against Google in October by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Paxton, and 10 other Republican state attorneys general. Paxton’s office also is looking into Google’s online advertising practices.

Facebook also will soon face lawsuits brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and an alliance of states, according to Bloomberg.

FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra also spoke at the conference and said antitrust regulators should rebuff Facebook’s position, Bloomberg reported. The social media giant maintains that Chinese tech giants will be the only beneficiaries from enforcement against U.S. tech firms.

“I think this is a deeply dangerous argument,” Chopra said, per Bloomberg.

The October antitrust lawsuit be the largest antitrust lawsuit in history. It was filed following a year-plus investigation into Google’s dominance in online search and advertising. A 57-page complaint accuses the tech giant of participating in anticompetitive activities to safeguard its search monopolies.

A bipartisan group of states — Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah — is planning to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google sometime in this month. It has considered combining its case with the DOJ suit.

An alliance of 135 companies and 30 industry associations from the U.S., U.K. and EU have sent a letter to antitrust regulators asking for swift action concerning Google’s alleged anti-competitive practices. The letter sent to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager criticized Google for favoring its own services.

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