January 26, 2020 / 4:33 PM / 5 months ago

U.S. state attorneys general to meet justice officials to coordinate on Google probe- WSJ

Jan 26 (Reuters) - U.S. state attorneys general will meet with Justice Department attorneys next week to share information on their investigations into Alphabet Inc’s Google, that could eventually lead them to join forces, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The investigations have centered around monopolistic behavior that may harm consumers through Google’s control of online advertising markets and search traffic.

The meeting between the parties is seen as the start of a periodic dialogue that could expand into more formal cooperation as the probes continue, according to the newspaper on.wsj.com/2GpE39g.

Discussions will likely include Google’s dominance in online search, possible anticompetitive behavior in its Android mobile operating system, and the best division of labor as the probes move forward, the paper said, citing some of the people.

To date, federal and state authorities involved in investigations into the company have not shared materials about their concurrent probes, the journal said, citing some of the people.

Attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico formally launched an investigation into Google last year, in a sign of growing scrutiny of technology giants.

The newspaper also added that at least seven attorneys general who are part of the investigation being led by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have been invited to the meeting.

Google and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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