Google Lawsuits by States Coming in ‘Weeks,’ Texas AG Says

Alphabet Inc.’s Google could face additional lawsuits by states “in the upcoming weeks and months,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Several states are examining antitrust concerns involving the company’s search operation, said Paxton, who launched a 48-state probe into the company in 2019.

Paxton commented on the Google investigation during a panel discussion Tuesday with global competition officials as federal and state law enforcers in the U.S. have stepped-up scrutiny of technology giants.

Paxton joined the Justice Department and 10 other Republican state attorneys general in an antitrust complaint against Google that was filed in October. His office also is probing Google’s alleged dominance in the online advertising market, which is also expected to result in litigation.

Facebook Inc., meanwhile, is facing lawsuits from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of states as soon as this week, Bloomberg has reported.

States leading the investigation into Google’s search practices include Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska, Bloomberg has reported. Those states and the Justice Department have said they would seek to consolidate the cases.

FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra also spoke at Tuesday’s conference.

Chopra, a Democrat, said antitrust officials should reject Facebook’s arguments that any enforcement actions against large American tech companies will only benefit China’s tech giants. Facebook and other U.S. tech firms are advancing this position to get a “blank check” to do as they please, he said.

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

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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