Google could be this century’s Standard Oil – will it be broken up?

By Hannah Boland, James Titcomb & Natasha Bernal

Fines and investigations have become a part of everyday life for Google. Hot on the heels of a $170m (£139m) settlement, agreed with US regulators on Wednesday over claims it had been breaching children’s privacy law with its YouTube site, the search giant looks set to face yet another investigation.

This time, though, it can expect more than a rap on the knuckles. The probe, expected to be launched next week by more than half of the US’s state attorneys general, would mark a significant coordinated action to rein in the internet giant – and could very well be Google’s toughest hurdle yet.

It is a move that has been a long time coming. For years, American antitrust bodies have been seen to be…

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