Google has been a target for anti-competitive lawsuits across the world, due to its dominance over online advertising, web searches, web browsers, and other industries. The United States Department of Justice (along with various states) has been conducting a probe into Google’s potential antitrust violations for around a year, and now it seems a lawsuit could be imminent.
Nearly a year ago, 50 attorneys general joined to launch an antitrust probe against Google, primarily focusing on the company’s advertising business. The federal Department of Justice later started its own probe, which now appears to be wrapping up. According to a report by Reuters, citing people briefed on the matter, the Justice Department is seeking final documents to complete the investigation. A lawsuit is expected to begin sometime this summer, but specifics of the antitrust complaint aren’t clear yet.
Meanwhile, dozens of state attorneys general are still conducting their own individual investigations led by the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton. It seems likely that most of the states will join the federal lawsuit, but some are focusing on other areas of Google’s business. One source told Reuters that some states are going after Google for privacy lapses, based on laws against deceptive practices.