Google Settles With States Over Consultants in Antitrust Probe

Alphabet’s Google has reached a settlement with state attorneys general over the states’ use of consultants in their antitrust investigation of the internet search giant, reported CNBC. 

Google in October went to court to restrict the Texas Attorney General’s office from disclosing sensitive information to consultants who have worked for competitors and other companies such as News and Microsoft Corp that have complained about Google to regulators. Both sides reached a settlement that places some restrictions on how the experts can access confidential business information, Google announced on Friday, February 21.

The settlement means that potential roadblocks to the states’ probe may be cleared for now, allowing the attorneys general to continue digging into Google’s business. A delay to the investigation could hinder the states’ ability to uncover important information about Google’s competitive practices. Though antitrust investigations are notoriously slow and fact-intensive, the rapid pace of change in the tech industry makes it especially important for investigators to move swiftly in order to impose remedies before they are no longer relevant.

Texas is leading the the probe into Google’s digital advertising business, which is backed by 49 other attorneys general from US states and territories. The investigation is expanding into other areas of Google’s business as well, including search and Android.

Full Content: CNBC

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