Google targeted by U.S. states in new antitrust investigation

/ CBS/AP

Texas and other U.S. states are expected to announce an investigation into Google on Monday to examine whether the Silicon Valley tech giant has gotten too big and effective at stomping or buying rivals.

The probe is the latest blow against big tech companies as antitrust investigations ramp up in the U.S. and around the world. Details of the multistate investigation will be announced at 2 p.m. ET on Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

A separate group of states announced an investigation into Facebook's dominance on Friday. The Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and Congress are also conducting probes.

Trending News

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said only that the investigation will look at "whether large tech companies have engaged in anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition, restricted access, and harmed consumers." Reports in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal say Google will be the primary target, with as many as 40 state attorney generals joining the probe.

Google expects state attorneys general will ask it about past similar investigations in the U.S. and internationally, senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker wrote in a blog post Friday.

"The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions," Walker wrote. "We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so."

Alphabet dominance

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many aspects of the internet that it's hard to imagine surfing the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Experts believe the antitrust probe could focus on at least one of three aspects of Google's business that have caught regulators' eyes.

An obvious first place to look could be online advertising. Google will control 31.1% of global digital ad dollars in 2019, according to eMarketer estimates, crushing a distant second place Facebook. And many smaller advertisers have argued that Google has such a stranglehold on the market that it becomes a system of whatever Google says, goes — because the alternative could be not reaching customers.

Last week, online project management company Basecamp complained that Google's paid search ads are similar to a "shakedown," noting that it had to pay to make sure its service appeared before rivals' ads.

Feds investigating major tech companies for antitrust violations

"There's definitely concern on the part of the advertisers themselves that Google wields way too much power in setting rates and favoring their own services over others," said Jen King, the director of privacy at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society.

DoubleClick purchase

Critics often point to Google's 2007 acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick as pivotal to its advertising dominance.

Europe's antitrust regulators slapped Google with a $1.7 billion fine in March unfairly inserting exclusivity clauses into contracts with advertisers, disadvantaging rivals in the online advertising business.

Another visibly huge piece of Google's business is its search platform, often the starting point for millions of people when they go online. Google dwarfs other search competitors and has faced harsh criticism in the past for favoring its own products over competitors at the top of search results. European regulators have also investigated here — ultimately fining Google for promoting its own shopping service. Google is appealing the fine.

Google has long argued that although its businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers. But it appears regulators are growing more concerned not just with the effects on regular internet users, but on smaller companies as well.

"On the one hand, you could just say, 'well Google is dominant because they're good,'" King said. "But at the same time, it's created an ecosystem where people's whole internet experience is mediated through Google's home page and Google's other products."

Spin off search?

One outcome antitrust regulators might explore is forcing Google to spin off search as a separate company, she said.

Then there's Google's smartphone operating system, Android. Another acquisition of Google's, the system is the most widely used in the world.

European regulators have also fined Google to the tune of $5 billion for tactics involving Android, finding that Google forced handset makers to install Google apps, thereby increasing its reach. Google has since allowed more options for alternative browser and search apps to European Android phones.

It's also possible U.S. states won't follow in Europe's footsteps. They could, for instance, focus on areas such as Google's popular video site YouTube, yet another acquisition Google made, that time in 2006.

Google executive Walker emphasized that the company's products help people every day.

"Google is one of America's top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation: Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone_translating any language instantaneously, learning about objects by pointing your phone, getting an answer to pretty much any question you might have," he wrote.

First published on September 9, 2019 / 9:49 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dorian evacuees told to get off ferry in Bahamas if they don't have U.S. visas

The death toll has risen to 45, as officials continue to comb through miles of debris, trying to account for hundreds of missing

1H ago 0909-ctm-dorianbahamaslatest-barnett-1929575-640x360.jpg Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waits to meet with the acting head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog (IAEA), Cornel Feruta, in Tehran

Iran upgrades nuclear infrastructure as 2015 deal collapses

Tehran makes good on threat to further breach terms of the deal as Israel claims nuclear watchdog's latest report vindicates claim of "secret atomic warehouse"

1H ago Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waits to meet with the acting head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog (IAEA), Cornel Feruta, in Tehran Heathrow Airport's T5 sits empty after strike action by BA pilots in London

Pilots' strike forces British Airways to cancel virtually all flights

Many flights to and from U.S. among the nearly 850 expected to be nixed today as pilots demand bigger cut of corporate profits

3H ago Heathrow Airport's T5 sits empty after strike action by BA pilots in London georgia-cargo-ship.jpg

At least 4 missing after cargo ship overturns near Georgia port

The Coast Guard said the vessel hasn't released any pollutants so far, but mitigation responses are ready in case they're needed

12H ago georgia-cargo-ship.jpg Bahamas Tropical Weather

"Fully extra-tropical" Dorian is out to sea – finally

Storm that became hurricane August 28 still had hurricane-force winds as late as Sunday, over eastern Canada; Bahamas death toll continues to rise

7H ago Bahamas Tropical Weather The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London

Google targeted by U.S. states in new antitrust investigation

Texas and other states are expected to announce a new probe into whether the tech giant is stomping rivals

13M ago The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London mugshot-and-lineup-promo.jpg

How faulty eyewitness testimony can lead to wrongful convictions

Of those who have been exonerated by DNA evidence, nearly three-quarters of them were convicted based on the incorrect memory of an eyewitness

18M ago mugshot-and-lineup-promo.jpg APTOPIX Amazon Warehouse Job Fair

Amazon to hire 30,000 workers at job fairs in 6 cities

The jobs range from $100,000-plus jobs for engineers to warehouse workers earning at least $15 an hour

1H ago APTOPIX Amazon Warehouse Job Fair 180619-getty-trump-sanford-split.jpg

Trump takes personal jab at Republican challenger Mark Sanford

President Trump took to Twitter to slam GOP presidential hopeful Mark Sanford

1H ago 180619-getty-trump-sanford-split.jpg Mitch McConnell

Congress returns with pressure to take action on guns and more

The year leading up to an election doesn't often come with significant legislative achievements

1H ago Mitch McConnell 180619-getty-trump-sanford-split.jpg

Trump takes personal jab at Republican challenger Mark Sanford

President Trump took to Twitter to slam GOP presidential hopeful Mark Sanford

1H ago 180619-getty-trump-sanford-split.jpg Mitch McConnell

Congress returns with pressure to take action on guns and more

The year leading up to an election doesn't often come with significant legislative achievements

1H ago Mitch McConnell 0909-ctm-billybushpreview-king.jpg

Billy Bush: The Access Hollywood tape was "weaponized"

"I got taken out, but I wasn't the target," Bush said

1H ago 0909-ctm-billybushpreview-king.jpg Voters Across The Country Head To The Polls For The Midterm Elections

Texas Democrats unveil plan to flip the state from red to blue

The state party set a goal of registering 2.6 million Texans to vote, boosting turnout in suburban areas and putting 1,000 field organizers on the ground

2H ago Voters Across The Country Head To The Polls For The Midterm Elections Britain Trump Protests

Air Force reviewing travel after stay at Trump property

The Air Force says it's reviewing its travel policy after an Air National Guard crew stopped at the president's Scotland property

2H ago Britain Trump Protests 70th Emmy Awards - Show

Trump, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen tangle on Twitter

President takes aim at "boring" Legend and his "filthy mouthed wife" and they fire back when Trump says he didn't get enough credit from Legend for signing criminal justice reform bill

2H ago 70th Emmy Awards - Show donny-and-marie-osmond-in-las-vegas-promo.jpg

Donny and Marie Osmond, going solo

After 11 years as a top draw in Las Vegas, the brother-and-sister duo are facing new challenges on their own, from Donny's solo album to Marie taking a seat on "The Talk"

Sep 8 donny-and-marie-osmond-in-las-vegas-promo.jpg 0908-sunmo-donnyandmarie-1929019-640x360.jpg

Donny and Marie Osmond's next act

Donny and Marie Osmond have been in show business almost as long as they've been brother and sister, as solo performers and as headliners of the popular "Donnie & Marie" TV show in the 1970s. For the past 11 years they have been a top draw in Las Vegas. But after almost 1,700 performances, they've decided to bring the curtain down on themselves this November. Lee Cowan talks with them about their new challenges ahead, from Marie taking a seat at "The Talk," to Donny's new solo album.

16H ago 09:33 0908-sunmo-donnyandmarie-1929019-640x360.jpg margaret-atwood-interview-c-promo.jpg

"The Handmaid's Tale" author Margaret Atwood: "I have never believed it can't happen here"

The Canadian author says her sequel, "The Testaments," which continues the saga of the women of the dystopian society of Gilead, offers "tons of hope"

Sep 8 margaret-atwood-interview-c-promo.jpg 0908-sunmo-margaretatwood-testaments-1928977-640x360.jpg

Margaret Atwood on "The Testaments"

Canadian author Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel, "The Handmaid's Tale," about a United States taken over by Christian zealots who force women to serve as sex slaves and child bearers for a powerful elite, became a bestseller and an Emmy-winning TV series. It has also introduced the iconography of Gilead into today's political discussions. Now, Atwood has penned a sequel, "The Testaments," which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She tells correspondent Martha Teichner that while she wrote the books as a warning, she does not see herself as a prophet.

Sep 8 07:22 0908-sunmo-margaretatwood-testaments-1928977-640x360.jpg Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background.

Lost AirPods cost consumers more than half a billion dollars annually

Now hear this: Apple's AirPod sales could exceed $10 billion this year, with 5% to 7% of sales to replace lost ear buds

Sep 6 Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background. Sheryl Sandberg Attends Facebook Community Boost Event in Miami

Facebook leaked 400 million users' phone numbers, report says

Swipe left? TechCrunch says more than 400 million unique IDs and phone numbers of Facebook users exposed on a server

Sep 5 Sheryl Sandberg Attends Facebook Community Boost Event in Miami screen-shot-2019-09-05-at-1-54-47-pm.png

Lyft sued over alleged sexual assaults by drivers

Lawsuit claims Lyft mishandled complaints against drivers and allowed them to continue working after alleged assaults

Sep 5 screen-shot-2019-09-05-at-1-54-47-pm.png facebook sign menlo park california

Feds meet tech firms at Facebook HQ to discuss election security

"Attendees talked about how industry and government could improve how we share information and coordinate our response to better detect and deter threats"

Sep 5 facebook sign menlo park california Little baby girl fastened with security belt in safety car seat.

Carmakers to add alerts to prevent child heatstroke deaths

Automakers agree to install technology by 2025 to remind people to retrieve children from a vehicle's back seat

Sep 4 Little baby girl fastened with security belt in safety car seat. Hurricane Dorian's damage at Equinor's South Riding Point oil storage facility is seen from an aerial view over Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 7, 2019.

Company pledges to clean up oil from facility damaged by Dorian

Norwegian-based Equinor says it was unclear how big the spill was at its oil terminal on Grand Bahama

20H ago Hurricane Dorian's damage at Equinor's South Riding Point oil storage facility is seen from an aerial view over Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 7, 2019. beaver-judith-lehmberg-teeth-4500-promo-top.jpg

Nature up close: Beavers, the master engineers

A keystone species for animals and plants, beavers are crafty builders who continually reshape parts of Wyoming's Snake River

Sep 7 beaver-judith-lehmberg-teeth-4500-promo-top.jpg screen-shot-2019-09-06-at-10-31-10-am.png

New species of dinosaur discovered in Japan

The discovery is the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in the country

Sep 6 screen-shot-2019-09-06-at-10-31-10-am.png 090619-landing2.jpg

Indian spacecraft apparently crashes in moon landing attempt

India seeks to join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon

Sep 6 090619-landing2.jpg 0904-ctm-dorianandclimate-berardelli-1926258-640x360.jpg

Is climate change making hurricanes more powerful?

"Almost all the research shows that in the future, hurricanes are likely to get more intense," meteorologist Jeff Berardelli says

Sep 4 0904-ctm-dorianandclimate-berardelli-1926258-640x360.jpg renaissance-charter-school-cooper-citry-flordia-0919.jpg

9 students hospitalized after eating "THC-laced" candy

Cooper City, Florida charter school says a student brought it in "inadvertently" and shared it with others

4H ago renaissance-charter-school-cooper-citry-flordia-0919.jpg Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

MLB and union to discuss opioid testing after Tyler Skaggs death

The league and players' association will discuss the possibility of more widespread testing for opioids following the death of Skaggs

Sep 7 Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim DOUNIAMAG-US-INDUSTRY-TOBACCO-HEALTH-TEENS

Three more deaths and at least 450 illnesses linked to vaping

U.S. health officials said they've identified hundreds of possible cases in 33 states

Sep 6 DOUNIAMAG-US-INDUSTRY-TOBACCO-HEALTH-TEENS MorningStar Farms Incogmeato Line Up

Food giants like Tyson and Kellogg's want bite of fake-meat market

Tyson buys into plant-based shrimp, a Kellogg's unit sells "Incogmeato" and even the maker of Spam is touting fake meat

Sep 6 MorningStar Farms Incogmeato Line Up Firefighters search rubble of collapsed World Trade Center

9/11 firefighters who arrived early may have higher heart risks now

The research might have implications for any efforts to expand the list of health problems eligible for payment from a victim compensation fund

Sep 6 Firefighters search rubble of collapsed World Trade Center Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background.

Lost AirPods cost consumers more than half a billion dollars annually

Now hear this: Apple's AirPod sales could exceed $10 billion this year, with 5% to 7% of sales to replace lost ear buds

Sep 6 Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background. A view of the entrance to the West Plant of the General Motors Lordstown Complex assembly plant in Warren

Manufacturing is in a recession. What's it mean for the U.S.?

Manufacturers are hurting for a number of reasons — including the president's trade war — and that's raising broader worries

Sep 6 A view of the entrance to the West Plant of the General Motors Lordstown Complex assembly plant in Warren The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London

Google targeted by U.S. states in new antitrust investigation

Texas and other states are expected to announce a new probe into whether the tech giant is stomping rivals

13M ago The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London 1target060514.jpg

More big retailers ask customers to leave guns behind

Yet when it comes to "open-carry" laws, stores walk a fine line between addressing shooting fears and angering patrons

Sep 5 1target060514.jpg An aerial picture shows a fire raging in the Amazon rainforest about 40 miles from Porto Velho, Brazil, on August 23, 2019.

Out of fashion at H&M: Brazilian leather tied to Amazon fires

H&M joins Timberland and Vans brands in distancing themselves from Brazilian leather amid deforestation concerns

Sep 6 An aerial picture shows a fire raging in the Amazon rainforest about 40 miles from Porto Velho, Brazil, on August 23, 2019. renaissance-charter-school-cooper-citry-flordia-0919.jpg

9 students hospitalized after eating "THC-laced" candy

Cooper City, Florida charter school says a student brought it in "inadvertently" and shared it with others

4H ago renaissance-charter-school-cooper-citry-flordia-0919.jpg ap6608010465.jpg

America's deadliest mass shootings

These are the deadliest mass shootings in American history

Aug 5 40 photos ap6608010465.jpg Police Shooting Livestreamed Chase

Man killed after live-streaming police chase in Minnesota

The chase started late Saturday night in Edina and ended in Richfield with officers shooting the man, Brian J. Quinones, who had streamed himself live on Facebook during the chase

17H ago Police Shooting Livestreamed Chase 0908-sunmo-odessashootingsurvivor-1929010-640x360.jpg

Odessa shooting survivor: Congress, do something

Shauna Saxton, a grandmother who looked the gunman in the eyes and escaped gunfire during the mass shooting in Texas last week in which seven people were murdered, says doing nothing in the wake of tragic events such as this will mean more innocent lives lost.

16H ago 02:48 0908-sunmo-odessashootingsurvivor-1929010-640x360.jpg Rachael DelTondo

Did a secret lead to a Pennsylvania teacher's murder?

When a popular teacher was gunned down in her parents' driveway on Mother's Day 2018, a quiet Pennsylvania city was left scrambling for answers — who would want the young woman dead? As it turns out, there might be quite a few people.

Sep 7 Rachael DelTondo cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg

Space

India fails to land on the moon

India hoped to become the fourth nation to soft-land on the moon with their Chandrayaan-2 space mission. But their space agency, ISRO, lost communication with their lander just before the mission was complete. CBS News Space Consultant Bill Harwood joined CBSN to discuss the apparent failure.

Sep 7 05:43 cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg 090619-landing2.jpg

Indian spacecraft apparently crashes in moon landing attempt

India seeks to join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon

Sep 6 090619-landing2.jpg cbsn-fusion-president-trump-announces-the-u-s-space-command-is-open-as-part-of-an-approach-to-better-defend-american.jpg

Trump launches U.S. Space Command

President Trump held a Rose Garden event to commemorate the establishment of the U.S. Space Command Thursday, as the president pushes for the creation of his sixth branch of the military, the Space Force. CBS News' Bofta Yimam reports.

Aug 29 01:53 cbsn-fusion-president-trump-announces-the-u-s-space-command-is-open-as-part-of-an-approach-to-better-defend-american.jpg Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019.

Kennedy Space Center bracing for Hurricane Dorian

NASA is hauling a massive launch gantry off the launch pad to avoid the threat of hurricane winds

Aug 29 Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019. cbsn-fusion-trump-space-command-ceremony-2019-08-29-thumbnail-1923152-640x360.jpg

Trump establishes U.S. Space Command

President Trump marked the establishment of the U.S. Space Command in the Rose Garden, and unveiled its flag for the first time during a ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Aug 29 03:49 cbsn-fusion-trump-space-command-ceremony-2019-08-29-thumbnail-1923152-640x360.jpg Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour

Photos: Hurricane Dorian's devastation

"Everything's gone! Everything!" one woman said after Dorian slammed into the Bahamas

Sep 6 42 photos Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour raiders.jpg

The most valuable NFL teams in 2019, ranked

Thanks to some pricey TV deals, a relocation, and brand-new stadiums, the NFL has never been more valuable.

Sep 5 40 photos raiders.jpg Washington Redskins v New England Patriots

Highest-paid NFL players in 2019, ranked

These are the NFL superstars who earn the most cash this season

Aug 29 50 photos Washington Redskins v New England Patriots ashleyfallisparents.jpg

Ashley Fallis death: A family's fight for justice

Was the Colorado mother's 2012 death a suicide, as her husband maintains, or was it murder, as her parents insist?

Aug 24 15 photos ashleyfallisparents.jpg intro-slide.jpg

World's most polluted cities

Air pollution can cause serious health problems for people who are exposed to it, even for just a few minutes

Aug 23 51 photos intro-slide.jpg master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg

Popular

Drinking culture and American kids

On America's college campuses, there are epidemics we talk about and those we don't. When sexual assaults or fraternity hazing deaths make headlines, court cases follow and new rules are enacted, but less attention is paid to an underlying issue – binge drinking culture. CBSN Originals explores how drinking to excess is not only considered normal, but cool, and how for many young people "blacking out" is less a rarity than an every weekend occurrence – with grave consequences.

Sep 5 23:34 master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg 0909-voicesfromhongkong-reginaip-1929667-640x360.jpg

Voices from Hong Kong: Cabinet member Regina Ip

Regina Ip is a popularly-elected, pro-Beijing legislator in Hong Kong and member of embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam's cabinet.

updated 20M ago 01:58 0909-voicesfromhongkong-reginaip-1929667-640x360.jpg 0909-voicesfromhongkong-jimmylai-1929662-640x360.jpg

Voices from Hong Kong: Businessman Jimmy Lai

Jimmy Lai is a Hong Kong entrepreneur and owner of one of the island's largest media companies. Unlike many of the city's business leaders, he is also a backer of the pro-democracy movement.

updated 21M ago 02:03 0909-voicesfromhongkong-jimmylai-1929662-640x360.jpg 0909-voicesfromhongkong-martinlee-1929656-640x360.jpg

Voices from Hong Kong: Lawyer Martin Lee

Martin Lee is a constitutional lawyer and was instrumental in drafting the so-called Basic Law of Hong Kong, that established the one country, 2 systems framework. He is also a supporter of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

updated 9M ago 01:43 0909-voicesfromhongkong-martinlee-1929656-640x360.jpg 0909-voicesfromhongkong-claudiamo-1929653-640x360.jpg

Voices from Hong Kong: Lawmaker Caudia Mo

Claudia Mo is a former journalist who covered the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. Since then she has become a popularly elected member of Hong Kong's legislature.

updated 9M ago 01:40 0909-voicesfromhongkong-claudiamo-1929653-640x360.jpg