This has not been a good week for Google.
First, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has been collecting very detailed healthcare records of millions of Americans through its deal with Ascension, prompting severe backlash and a government inquiry. Then Google announces its plans to offer checking accounts, only to face backlash from individuals concerned about privacy ramifications, and predictions that Congress may try to thwart the company’s efforts.
According to Business Insider, things are about to get much worse. An investigation by 48 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico into alleged anti-competitive behavior in Google’s advertising business is being expanded to include its Android operating system and search engine results.
The investigation, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, could see Google face the same level of scrutiny it has in the EU, which ultimately led to $9.4 billion in fines. On the heels of EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s comments questioning the value of breaking up big tech companies in favor of holding them to a higher standard, it appears the U.S. may be taking a similar approach.
With Google expanding into new markets and industries, a widening inquiry is the last thing it needs.