Justice Department expected to brief state attorneys general this week on imminent Google antitrust lawsuit

Justice Department expected to brief state attorneys general this week on imminent Google antitrust lawsuit

The Justice Department opened its investigation of Google last year, a probe that initially appeared focused on the company’s advertising business but since then has come to encompass its dominant footprint in online search. It marks the first major entanglement between the U.S. government and the tech giant since 2013, when federal officials last scrutinized Google on antitrust grounds but opted against filing a lawsuit challenging the company. In the meantime, European regulators have slapped Google with billions of dollars in fines for violating antitrust laws. The department had been eyeing a September lawsuit against Google. U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr this summer sought to speed up the agency’s work, overruling dozens of federal agents who said they needed additional time before they could file a case against Google, The Washington Post previously reported. State attorneys general, meanwhile, embarked on their own bipartisan probe last summer, an inquiry led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). That, too, has broadened considerably since Democratic and Republican state leaders announced their intentions from the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. It remains unclear which states may ultimately join the Justice Department in any lawsuit it files in the coming days, or whether they could file their own additional complaints. Some Democratic attorneys general also have signaled they may want to wait until after the 2020 presidential election before deciding their next steps. Adding to Google’s headaches, the White House is expected to host Republican attorneys general on Wednesday to discuss ...
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