Washington: A group of 50 US states have announced an investigation against Google's "potential monopolistic behaviour" and the Internet giant's dominance of the online advertising market.
Announcing the launch of the investigation on Monday, the attorney generals from these states alleged that Internet is not free as a result of some of the practices of Google.
"Fifty attorney generals from different states and territories are launching an investigation into Google's potential monopolistic behaviour," Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine told reporters at a press conference here on Monday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told reporters at a news conference here that Google dominates all aspects of advertising and searching on the Internet as they dominate the buyer side, the seller, the auction and even the video with YouTube.
“What we've all learned is that while many consumers believe that the Internet is free, certainly we know from Google's profits of USD 117 billion that the Internet is not free,” he said.
However, Google has denied the allegations, saying its services help people, create more choice and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the United States.
“Google is one of America's top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation: Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone-translating any language instantaneously, learning about objects by pointing your phone, getting an answer to pretty much any question you might have,” senior Vice President of Google's Global Affairs Kent Walker said.
At the same time, it's of course right that governments should have oversight to ensure that "all successful companies, including ours, are complying with the law. The Department of Justice (DOJ), for example, has announced that it's starting a review of online platforms," he said.
Walker said that Google has answered many questions on these issues over many years, in the United States as well as overseas, across many aspects of its business.
“So this is not new for us. The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions.
By Lalit K Jha