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State Attorneys General Open Antitrust Investigation Into Google

Fifty U.S. states and territories on Monday opened a probe of Google over its advertising and search dominance. 

The inquiry will look into whether Google has illegally raised online advertising costs and whether its search results are skewed in a way that harms competition.

"While many consumers believe that the internet is free, certainly we know from Google's profits of $117 billion that the internet is not free," said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the investigation. "And this is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet."

Google and its fellow tech giants have faced increased governmental scrutiny in recent months, including at the federal level. Last week, Google said that the U.S. Justice Department had requested information about its past investigations of the company. Meanwhile, Google also agreed to pay $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission that its YouTube unit had violated children's privacy.

The latest antitrust investigation by states attorney generals is a rare example of Democrats and Republicans working together. The only holdouts in the investigation are Alabama and California, which is Google's home state. Both are free to join later.

Google did not immediately respond to a request by Fortune for comment.

Shares in Google's parent company, Alphabet, were nearly unchanged on Monday at $1,204.41.

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