On Monday, 50 attorneys general launched an antitrust probe into Google. That same day, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the investigation, issued the search giant a 29-page investigative demand about its advertising business, according to a report Tuesday by Bloomberg.
The demand from investigators asks Google for more than 200 directives, including explanations and documents about its digital ad operation, Bloomberg reported. The states also want information about Google’s ad-tech acquisitions, such as DoubleClick and AdMob, which helped turn Google into a juggernaut that generates more than $100 billion a year in revenue.
Google must respond to the demands by October 9, Bloomberg said.
Reached for comment, Google only pointed to awritten by Senior Vice President of Global Affairs Kent Walker. In the missive, Google acknowledges the regulatory scrutiny and says it will work with with government officials. Paxton’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
The probe comes as Silicon Valley faces increased heat from government regulators, who have targeted tech companies over potential anti-competitive behavior, privacy breaches and data misuse. Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a similar probe into Facebook.
Google is the clear leader when it comes to digital advertising in the US, with more than 37% of the market, according to eMarketer. Facebook trails at No. 2 with more than 22%. But while Google has a commanding advantage, rivals like Amazon have chipped away at its lead in recent years. The e-commerce giant owns almost 9 percent of the market.
When it comes specifically to search advertising revenue, however, Google is the clear juggernaut. Google owns almost 75% of the search advertising market, according to eMarketer, while its nearest competitor, Microsoft, follows far behind at almost 7%.