Google's advertising practices are being investigated by almost every U.S

Face with 'Google' projected on

Face with 'Google' projected on

"When a company becomes a verb, it may seem as though the states are David taking on Goliath but I am proud to stand tall with my fellow attorneys general", Rutledge said. Florida attorney general Ashley Moody was also at the announcement.

The coalition warned that the search giant may be threatening competition and consumers.

Google accounts for about 38% of digital advertising spending in the USA - at around $48bn - followed by Facebook at about 22%, according to eMarketer.

In a Monday statement, Michigan Attorney General Nessel noted Google's "critical role" in the online economy as the biggest and most powerful advertising and search engine company, but said it's illegal for a business to use its market power to protect its status as a monopoly. The only two states absent from the joint investigation are California and Alabama, according to Paxton.

Most recently, 43 states and Puerto Rico sued Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and 19 other drugmakers in May, accusing them of scheming to inflate prices and reduce competition for more than 100 generic drugs. Several of the attorneys general at the announcement in Washington described the investigation as "preliminary" but said they expected it would expand to cover other issues including data privacy. "The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions".

Google, he said, "is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet, as they dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and even the video side with YouTube".

Big Papi surprises fans with 1st pitch at Fenway
Ortiz, who spent 14 seasons with the Sox, helping the team win three World Series, retired from baseball in 2016. A street across from Fenway Park has been named for the slugger.

Google declined to comment beyond a Friday blog post by Google's chief lawyer, Kent Walker, who said the company planned to work constructively with regulators.

Republican attorney general Jeff Landry of Louisiana called Google's domination "an absolutely existential threat to our virtual marketplace".

"Google is one of America's top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation, " Walker wrote.

"On the one hand, you could just say, 'well Google is dominant because they're good, '" said Jen King, the director of privacy at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Google will control 31.1% of global digital ad dollars in 2019, according to eMarketer estimates, crushing a distant second-place Facebook.

"There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition", Paxton said. European regulators also have investigated in this area, ultimately fining Google for promoting its own shopping service. First came a then-record-breaking €2.42 billion fine in 2017 for steering shoppers toward Google's platform in search results.

Google's smartphone operating system, Android, is the most widely used in the world. His peer-reviewed research found Google's algorithms can easily shift 20 percent or more votes among voters and up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.

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