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Factbox-U.S. government, state lawsuits pile up against Big Tech market dominance

(Reuters) - Texas, backed by nine other states, filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google on Wednesday, accusing the internet search company of breaking antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising business.

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google in a combination photo. REUTERS/File Photo

The lawsuit comes more than a year after it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and big groups of state attorneys general had major antitrust probes under way of Big Tech platforms: Google, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Facebook Inc.

Following are major government lawsuits and investigations in the United States regarding Big Tech.

Justice Department lawsuit against Google:

The U.S. Justice Department sued Google in October, accusing the $1 trillion company of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals.

More state attorneys general expected to sue Google:

A bipartisan group of more than 30 state attorneys general is expected to file an antitrust complaint against Google on Thursday. These states, which include Colorado, have said they hope to consolidate their case with the government’s.

Federal Trade Commission and states sue Facebook:

The FTC and a major coalition of states are asking that Facebook be forced to sell WhatsApp and Instagram, saying the social media company used a “buy or bury” strategy to snap up rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay.

Justice Department investigates Apple:

This probe, revealed in June 2019, appears to focus on Apple’s app store. Some app developers have accused Apple of introducing new products very similar to existing apps created by other developers and sold in the Apple Store, and then trying to banish the older apps from the store because they compete with Apple’s new product. Apple says it seeks to have only the highest-quality apps in the app store.

Justice Department probing Facebook and Amazon:

In July 2019, the Justice Department said it was expanding its Big Tech probes to include “search, social media, and some retail services online” - an apparent reference to Facebook and Amazon.

Federal Trade Commission on Amazon:

In its investigation of Amazon, the FTC is likely looking at the inherent conflict of interest of Amazon competing with small sellers on its marketplace platform, including allegations that it used information from sellers on its platform to decide what products it would introduce.

Reporting by Diane Bartz and Nandita Bose in Washington, and Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Chris Sanders and Matthew Lewis

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