- The state attorneys general investigating Google are considering pushing for a breakup of the tech giant’s ad technology business as part of an expected lawsuit, people familiar with the situation told CNBC.
- Critics have said that Google bundles its ad tools so that rivals can’t afford to match its offerings and that its operation of search results, YouTube, Gmail and other services hinder ad competition.
- Once the attorneys general file their expected lawsuit, they have a number of tools at their disposal to signal their intent to push for a breakup of Google’s ad technology business.
The state attorneys general investigating Google for potential antitrust violations are leaning toward pushing for a breakup of its ad technology business as part of an expected suit, people familiar with the situation told CNBC.
Fifty attorneys general have been probing Google’s business practices for months, alongside a similar probe being led by the U.S. Department of Justice. Both the states and the DOJ are looking to file a suit against the internet giant as soon as within the next few months, the people told CNBC.
The states and the Justice Department have not yet officially decided whether to combine their expected suits, the people said, though they have been collaborating closely. Both have been investigating Google’s search, ad technology and android business.
The attorneys general investigating Google, which is owned by Alphabet, haven’t yet definitively ruled out pushing for alternatives for its ad technology business, like imposing restrictions on how it runs its business, one of the sources said. A suit may also include a push for both that option and breaking up the ad tech business.