Google confirms DOJ antitrust scrutiny, preps for probe from states

The search giant said it's sent records to US regulators.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president of global affairs


Google on Friday said the US Department of Justice has asked the company for information on previous antitrust investigations, confirming that the federal government is looking into its business practices. 

The search giant also said it's preparing for scrutiny from state attorneys generals. An official announcement of that probe is expected Monday in Washington, DC

"The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions," Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post. "We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so."

The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Google's acknowledgement comes as the government has ratcheted up scrutiny of Silicon Valley as a whole. The Justice Deparment in July announced an antitrust probe into the tech industry more broadly, targeting Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Meanwhile, House Democrats in June announced their own investigation into tech giants, meant to explore whether the companies are engaging in "anti-competitive conduct." 

On Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a similar probe into Facebook. The investigation, which will involve other states including Florida, Colorado and Iowa, will focus on "Facebook's dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance," James' office said in a statement. 

Google is no stranger to government investigations. Six years ago, the FTC wrapped up a probe of the company looking into allegations of search bias. At the time, the commission decided that Google wasn't violating any antitrust laws.

"We look forward to showing how we are investing in innovation, providing services that people want, and engaging in robust and fair competition," Walker wrote on Friday.

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