State attorneys general met with the Justice Department on Friday to make preparations for an anticipated antitrust case against Google. However, sources say that search bias — which is crucial to Google’s ability to sway elections and control the flow of political information — is not yet a major part of the DoJ’s case.
Politico reported on the gathering of state AGs and the Justice Department ahead of the meeting on Friday. Politico’s report suggests that the focus is currently on the criticisms of Google from its corporate competitors, namely its dominance of the digital ads market and its alleged tendency to favor its own products and services.
Unlike previous probes into the tech company, prosecutors started by analyzing Google’s control over the technology used to serve, buy and sell the online advertising that funds many websites. News publishers and other advertisers have complained about Google’s dominance in the “ad tech” market.
— Search 2.0: Investigators have also looked into areas where Google faced a previous investigation by the FTC and European authorities over giving advantages to its own products and exclusive contracts that require Google as the default browser on smartphones that use Android. At Friday’s meeting, prosecutors are expected to debate how broad or narrow the case against Google could be and what allegations they might include in a complaint.