US state AGs and Justice Department officials will meet and coordinate Google's investigation: sources

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The Google logo is seen in Davos, Switzerland, on January 20, 2020. Photo taken on January 20, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) – U.S. Attorneys General will meet with Justice Department lawyers next week to share information about their investigations on Alphabet Inc.'s Google, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. The analysis revolves around monopolistic behavior that can hurt consumers by Google's control over online advertising markets and search traffic.

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The Wall Street Journal reported for the first time on the meeting and said it could lead the Department of Justice and state attorney generals to join forces.

The talks are likely to include Google's dominance of online research, possible anti-competitive behavior on the Android mobile operating system and better division of labor as investigations progress, according to the newspaper, quoting some people.

US federal and state officials have not yet shared data on their simultaneous investigations, the newspaper added, citing some of the people.

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

At least seven Attorneys General who are part of the investigation led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton were invited to the meeting, the Journal reported.

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

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

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