Image by Erik Lucatero from Pixabay

 

This is nothing but good.

Attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories on Monday officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google, embarking on a wide-ranging review of a tech giant that Democrats and Republicans said may threaten competition, consumers and the continued growth of the web.

Appearing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton charged that Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet,” though he cautioned that despite his criticism the states had launched an investigation for now and not a lawsuit.

Paxton said the probe’s initial focus is online advertising. Google is expected to rake in more than $48 billion in U.S. digital ad revenue this year, far rivaling its peers, while capturing 75 percent of all spending on U.S. search ads, according to eMarketer.

“They dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and the video side with YouTube,” he said during a news conference alongside officials from 11 states and the District of Columbia.

If you are a libertarian or in the thrall of a pure form of free market capitalism, you can just skip the rest of this. I’m not. I trust large business even less than I trust large government because it is rarely constrained by fear of exposure (when was the last time the Department of Interior sent surreptitious recordings of you rogering the old lady off to an independent contractor for them to use do develop better Artificial Intelligence? Didn’t think so, but if you use Apple’s Siri you have aided in their research) and are much more likely to do illegal stuff because the currency in business is pleasing the boss and getting promotions while in the bureaucracy it is hitting the door at 4:30 and getting a pension.

There is zero doubt that Google is a bad actor. There is no doubt that it is a monopoly and any competitor that exists is allowed to stay in business simply to provide the window-dressing of an open market.

My personal hope is that this coalition of state attorneys general crushes Google as it is currently configured and breaks it up into smaller business units that are forbidden from using the massive amount of consumer data compiled by Google to dominate markets. Then I hope they go after Facebook and Twitter.

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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
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