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Google confirms DOJ investigation, says it must disclose antitrust records



Photo: David Ramos (Getty)

The Department of Justice mandates that Google's parent company, Alphabet, provide all information regarding previous antitrust investigations of tech giant, Google announced Friday.

This marks the company's first public admission that it is among the companies being reported as part of a comprehensive, antitrust investigation that the Justice Department started in July. According to an SEC filing also released Friday, the company has acknowledged an additional probe into its practice from "more than half" of state attorneys expected to be announced Monday, as the Washington Post reported earlier this week.

"The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys to generally ask similar questions," Google senior director Tom Kent wrote in a blog post Friday. "We have always worked constructively with regulators, and we will continue to do so."

It is unclear what that information entails, but it is likely to include documents and findings from the Federal Trade Commission & # 39; s 201

3 probe into Google's business practices over concerns such as smuggling smartphone and online marketing.

Large technology companies have had increased scrutiny this year as privacy scandals in particular continue to make headlines. Google's reveal comes at the height of news from earlier today that New York's attorney general plans to launch a multistate antitrust probe into Facebook. The social media giant has also confirmed that it is being investigated by both the FTC and DOJ for antitrust violations. The FTC recently fined Facebook with a record $ 5 billion for privacy infringement linked to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a measure many Democrats condemned as a slap on the wrist.

In July, the Department of Justice announced it was launching a probe into "market-leading online platforms" to see if these companies "reduced competition, stifled innovation or otherwise harmed consumers." The move came after months of deliberations between the DOJ and the FTC , both of which have antitrust powers, as the two coordinated which companies to investigate among the big tech names like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.


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