U.S. state AGs, Justice Department officials to meet and coordinate on Google probe: sources

The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - U.S. state attorneys general will meet Justice Department attorneys next week to share information on their investigations into Alphabet Inc’s Google, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. The probes revolve around monopolistic behavior that may harm consumers through Google’s control of online advertising markets and search traffic.

The Wall Street Journal had first reported about the meeting and said it could eventually lead the Justice Department and state attorneys general to join forces.

Talks will likely include Google’s dominance in online search, possible anticompetitive behavior in its Android mobile operating system, and the best division of labor as the probes move forward, the paper said, citing some of the people.

U.S. federal and state authorities have not shared data about their concurrent investigations to date, the journal added, citing some of the people.

Attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico formally launched an investigation into Google last year, in a sign of growing scrutiny of technology giants.

At least seven attorneys general who are part of the investigation being led by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have been invited to the meeting, the Journal reported.

Google and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya; additional reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru, Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum