Google’s dominant market position is now the subject of state investigations after 50 states and territories opened anti-trust probes that are looking at Google’s prominent position in various sectors of the internet economy including online advertising, search engines, Android operating system, and Youtube platform.
The Federal Trade Commission is also in the process of investigating Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google.
“We expect to receive in the future similar investigative demands from state attorney generals and continue to cooperate with the federal and state regulators both in the United States and other regulators around the world,” Google said on Friday.
Google’s executive, Kent Walker, is making the case that Google is a major investor in innovation, providing an increasingly greater range of free services. For several years this was a viable legal argument in the US after the FTC concluded, in 2013, an antitrust investigation into Google’s dominance in the search and advertising industry and opted not to break up the company or impose significant fines.
In Europe, Google has paid €8.1 billion in competition-related fines.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls vast expanses of the internet economy, including 31% of online advertising revenue and nearly 100% of search engine use.
This creates a concern not only for the perceived company’s leverage over consumers but also the power Google wields over advertisers. In Europe, Google was forced to pay a €1.7 billion for manipulating its dominant position in online advertising and over $5 billion for the company’s Android monopoly.