NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is spearheading an investigation into whether Google violated antitrust laws.
Paxton, along with 48 attorneys general, is looking into whether the tech giant created a monopoly and abused its dominance to wipe out competitors.
“While many consumers believe the Internet is free, certainly we know from Google’s profits of $117 billion that the Internet is not free,” Paxton said.
“If you know that a person is searching for a certain consumer product and then you can direct advertising based on those searches….that’s very valuable information,” said Brad Weber, an attorney in Dallas who specializes in antitrust cases.
Weber said Google will likely need to turn over sensitive information, such as financial and marketing information, in addition to business strategies on how Google may have tried to enhance its market power.
The investigation represents the latest legal headache for Google and other tech companies.
Congress, the Justice Department, and the Federal Trade Commission are all currently involved in ongoing probes.
“This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet,” Paxton said.
During a news conference, the attorneys general said if Google is restricting competition, it is consumers who pay the price.
“As a new mom, when my daughter is sick, and I search online for advice and doctors, I want the best advice from the best doctors, not the doctor and not the clinic that can spend the most on advertising,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.