Thursday - May 28, 2020
Josh Stein Investigates Google
Written by Savannah Gunter   
Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:59

RALEIGH— North Carolina's Attorney General Josh Stein --along with a group of other attorneys general -- is conducting an investigation of Google's business practices.

Stein is part of a group being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James to address this issue.

He says that Google and companies like it have the potential to damage markets and harm consumers on account of their large-scale power and influence. Stein says these companies could be stifling innovation because consumers aren't visiting other sites, and he also notes that the privacy of consumers could be at risk.

According to Stein, the size of these companies is not necessarily a problem, but if they are using their power unlawfully it could be harmful for both the markets and consumers in the future, both in the Tar Heel state and nationwide.

Stein says that as some of the web’s most powerful contributors, companies such as Google and Facebook have unlimited access to the personal information of millions. He says these companies may not prioritize the safety of consumers as they should. He adds that recent privacy breaches could be indicative of similar occurrences in the future, and that these companies should be held to a higher standard regarding the safety and privacy of the consumer.

“I have no desire to punish [these companies,]” Stein adds, “what I want to make sure is that they do not engage in practices that are unlawful and harmful to competitors and to consumers that led them to have this dominant position.”

The advertising market could suffer at the hands of these large tech companies as well, according to Stein. He compares the large-scale tech companies of today to the monopolies of Standard Oil and AT&T at the turn of the 20th century, and adds that because of their status as “the” oil and phone companies, consumers were forced to pay whatever prices they set. He says that similarly Google and its social media counterpart are warding off competitors and controlling the market.

According to Stein, the internet is the "most important infrastructure in the world," and he says this investigation aims to protect the safety and the wallets of North Carolinians on the web.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2019 14:04


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