Michigan AG takes part in antitrust investigation of Google

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many aspects of the internet that it's hard to imagine surfing the web for long without running into at least one of its services. (Source: MGN)
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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 49 other attorneys general in a multi-state antitrust investigation of Google Monday, according to a press release.

The bipartisan alliance of Attorneys General announced its plans to investigate Google's overarching control of online advertising markets, search traffic and whether or not it engages in anti-competitive behavior that harms the public, according to the release.

The Michigan Attorney General's Office said antitrust enforcement officials 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 and open digital markets.

“Google plays a critical role in our online economy as the biggest and most powerful advertising and search engine company in the country. It is illegal for a business to use its market power to engage in anti-competitive conduct specifically to protect its status as a virtual monopoly,” said Nessel. “Our personal data is the biggest commodity in today’s online economy. When a giant like Google makes 90% of its revenue from utilizing our personal data in its advertising business while undermining consumer choice, stifling innovation, violating our privacy, and controlling the flow and exchange of information, it is essential that we take a closer look. We will go where the facts lead us to both protect our consumers and to ensure a free and competitive market.”

The Attorney General's Office said past investigations of Google has uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the United States to three antitrust actions brought forward by the European Commission.

The Attorney General's Office says none of these investigation have fully addressed the source of Google's sustained market power and the company's ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices intended to protect and maintain that power.

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