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Press Release

Attorney General Clarkson joins in Google multistate, bipartisan antitrust investigation

September 9, 2019

(Anchorage, AK) – Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson announced today that Alaska has joined a multistate, bipartisan investigation being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of tech giant Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws. The coalition includes 49 attorneys general.

The bipartisan coalition announced plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. Legal experts from each state will work in cooperation with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure that Americans have access to free digital markets.

“A free and competitive market is vital to smaller businesses to be able to compete, and this is especially true in Alaska where businesses are trying to market beyond our borders both nationally and internationally,” said Attorney General Clarkson. “Alaska has a vibrant and growing small business community that relies increasingly on internet advertising. This is also true of digital publishers, such as newspapers, websites, and blogs. Anticompetitive conduct of the kind we are investigating has the potential to harm Alaskan businesses through artificial hikes in cost and stifling innovation.” 

Past investigations of Google uncovered violations ranging from advertising illegal drugs in the United States to three antitrust actions brought by the European Commission. None of these previous investigations, however, fully addressed the source of Google’s sustained market power and the ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices with the intention to protect and maintain that power.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Jeff Pickett at jeff.picket@alaska.gov or (907) 269-5100.

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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or cori.mills@alaska.gov.