KY Office of AGFRANKFORT, Ky. (9/9/19) — Attorney General Andy Beshear reports Kentucky has joined 49 states in a bipartisan investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices and whether they meet the standards established under state and federal antitrust laws.

The multistate coalition of attorneys general announced plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers, Beshear's office stated in a press release. Legal experts from each state will work in cooperation with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure that Americans have access to free digital markets in which companies compete on the merits.

“While we all know that the internet is central to our work, home and family lives, through this investigation, we are looking deeper into the economics that make the internet work and make sure Kentuckians’ privacy and online freedoms have not been undermined,” Beshear said. “Kentucky families deserve to know whether Google’s ‘powerhouse’ status has been achieved and maintained through business practices designed to thwart competition and prevent new alternatives from existing – and we’re going to find out.”

Beshear said the coalition intends to follow closely the facts discovered in this case and proceed as necessary. Past investigations of Google uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the U.S. to currently three antitrust actions brought by the European Commission. None of these previous investigations, however, fully addresses the source of Google’s sustained market power and its ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices intended to protect and maintain that power.

SurfKY News

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