00:57 GMT13 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Forty-eight US states, including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico have launched an antitrust investigation of Google for dominating the internet as a monopoly, a group of state attorneys general told a news conference on Monday.

    While the event was advertised as a broad probe of social media, the focus clearly was on Google.

    “Google monitors our online behavior and captures data on every one of us as we navigate the internet", Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “This investigation will initially focus on the capture of that information and whether Google imbedded itself in every level of the online market ad sales to monopolize this industry”.

    Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry drew an analogy of Google’s online dominance to the advent of newspapers following the invention of the printing press.

    “Newspapers were it”, Landry said. “They were the king of information so would we in this country allow one person or one country to own all of the printing ink, the printing presses and the paper used?”

    The state investigation coincides with an antitrust probe led by New York Attorney General Letitia James of Facebook that is backed by more than a half dozen states.

    Google also faces multiple antitrust investigations, by US agencies such as the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as several European governments.

    Last week Google agreed to settle a lawsuit from the FTC and state of New York with a record $170 million fine and promised changes to protect children's privacy on YouTube.

    Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said he looks forward to cooperating with US and international agencies as the state-led probe of Google proceeds.

    The latest investigation joins attorneys general – Democrats and Republicans - of every US state except California and Alabama.


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