Saturday 21 September 2019

Google is hit with sweeping demands from states over ads

Texas AG Ken Paxton. Photo: Bloomberg
Texas AG Ken Paxton. Photo: Bloomberg

David McLaughlin and Gerrit De Vynck

US state attorneys general investigating Google are ordering it to turn over a wide range of information about its advertising business, according to an investigative demand that takes direct aim at the biggest source of the company's revenue.

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton's office, which is leading the nationwide probe, this week issued a 29-page civil investigative demand, which has been obtained by Bloomberg.

In more than 200 directives, investigators ordered the company to produce detailed explanations and documents by October 9, related to its sprawling system of online advertising products.

The investigative demand, which is similar to a subpoena, was issued as 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico announced an anti-trust investigation of Google from the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington.

The attorneys general said they were looking at Google's advertising practices, but their detailed demand to the company hasn't been previously reported.

According to the document, the states want to see information about Google's past acquisitions of advertising technology companies, including DoubleClick and AdMob; its top advertisers and publishers; data collection practices; pricing models; and the functions of the ad auction market which delivers ads across the internet.


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