North Dakota is participating in a multi-state investigation of Google’s business practices, according to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
All 50 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, will investigate whether Google’s dominance in online search traffic and advertising markets is a result of anti-competitive behavior that harms consumers. The states will work cooperatively with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services, to ensure all Americans have access to a digital free market, Stenehjem said.
“Google’s control and flow of information is something that significantly affects all of us in our everyday lives, and this investigation will address any harmful conduct by Google as a result of any inappropriate actions or violation of free market competition,” Stenehjem said.
Past investigations of Google uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the U.S. as well as three antitrust actions brought by the European Commission. None of these previous investigations, however, fully address the source of Google’s sustained market power and the ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices with the intention to protect and maintain that power, Stenehjem said.