A new investigation has launched in the United States regarding whether Google holds a monopoly.
Fifty U.S. attorney generals are part of the investigation. The only two states that are not included in the probe are California and Alabama, reports CNBC.
The probe is focused on the tech giant’s advertising practices, according to TechCrunch, but other aspects of the business could be looked into during the investigation.
This isn’t the first time a U.S. government office has launched an antitrust case related to a tech giant.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook and the Department of Justice is looking into Apple, Google and Amazon. Now, the vast majority of State Attorneys are investigating Google.
Other countries are looking into Google as well, reports CNBC.
In a Reuters’ breakdown, the publication mentions that this could lead to lawmakers breaking up Google, slapping the company with a massive fine, forcing it to work with competitors or nothing at all.
While it’s unlikely Google will be broken up, if it was, arms of the company like YouTube could be spun out to stand on their own.
It seems more likely that Google ends up being slapped with a giant fine. Since Google is one of America’s most successful tech companies, even a substantial fine would barely make a dent in its deep coffers.
Another option growing in popularity in the European Union, according to Reuters, is forcing larger companies to work with smaller competitors.
Overall, this investigation could have significant consequences for Google or the company could walk away with a hefty fine and no real consequences.
Sources: Reuters, CNBC, TechCrunch