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Technology Google's search, Android businesses to be probed by state attorneys general, report says

02:40  15 november  2019
02:40  15 november  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Android phones will soon ask you to pick a default search engine – but you might not like the options

  Android phones will soon ask you to pick a default search engine – but you might not like the options The option is currently in testing and is due to roll out in 2020, but only the highest bidding search providers will be listed.The new option is currently in testing, and is scheduled to roll out throughout the EU in 2020.  When it arrives, you'll be presented with a popup on your home screen, asking you to pick your preferred search provider from a short list. According to screengrabs released by XDA Developers, four options are available.

The probe was initially set to focus primarily on Google ' s massive digital advertising business , which generates 8 billion a year annually. But investigators are reportedly preparing to delve into Google ' s search and Android businesses as well. In all, attorneys general from 48 states , Puerto Rico and

50 state attorneys general expand their investigation of Google to look at potential anticompetitive behavior in search and Android businesses . Google ' s regulatory headaches just got worse as the probe by 48 states expands to include Android and search .

A major investigation into Google by state attorneys general will take on a wider scope than previously announced, according to a report Thursday by CNBC.

a sign in a field: Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Stephen Shankland/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Stephen Shankland/CNET

The probe was initially set to focus primarily on Google's massive digital advertising business, which generates $138 billion a year. But investigators are reportedly preparing to delve into Google's search and Android businesses as well.

In all, attorneys general from 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, are joining forces for the investigation. The office of Texas AG Ken Paxton, who's leading the investigation, didn't respond to a request for comment.

States ask internet search rival for evidence in antitrust probe of Google

  States ask internet search rival for evidence in antitrust probe of Google Texas's attorney general has sent the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo a demand for documents and records as part of a multi-state antitrust probe into anti-competitive behavior by Google. © Sharaf Maksumov/ShutterstockThe legal request — a copy of which was obtained by CNN — was sent to DuckDuckGo earlier this month. It asks DuckDuckGo to reproduce any information it has provided to the Justice Department in connection with the federal agency's own Google antitrust probe.

Google ’ s antitrust worries, however, are far from over. According to a report from CNBC, an But at a recent meeting of several attorney generals participating in the probe , [Texas Attorney General Other states will carry out the investigations of search and Android separately, the people said .

Google said that it was cooperating with the state officials. "We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general , in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector," Google representative Jose Castaneda said . The probe is focused on the

Reached for comment, a Google spokesman pointed to a blog post published by Google SVP of Public Affairs Kent Walker, ahead of the probe's announcement in September. "We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so," Walker wrote.

The state AGs have already indicated that their investigation could extend beyond advertising. "Right now it's about advertising, but the facts will lead where they lead," Paxton said in September when the probe was announced.

Google's search and advertising businesses have been under particular scrutiny in Europe. In March, the search giant was hit with a $1.7 billion fine from the European Commission for "abusive" online ad practices. The commission said Google exploited its dominance by restricting its rivals from placing their search ads on third-party websites.

States to expand Google antitrust probe into search and Android businesses

  States to expand Google antitrust probe into search and Android businesses Before today, they were investigating its advertising practicesLast September, nearly every attorney general in the United States announced that they would take part in an antitrust investigation of Google led by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. At the time, Paxton said that the probe would primarily focus on Google’s ads business because the company “dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet.” But it looks as though their investigation will be widening and officials will begin to examine whether the company has acted anti-competitively with its search and Android software products.

Google said that it was cooperating with the state officials. "We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general , in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector," Google representative Jose Castaneda said . The probe is focused on the

Other attorneys general at the media conference emphasized Google ' s dominance in the ad market and use of consumer data. "The state attorneys general , they are an independent bunch," Racine said . "And they can be quite tenacious. So I'm very confident that this bipartisan group is going to be

a sign on a grassy field: Google headquarters in Mountain View, California© Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California

Last year, the EU's executive arm fined Google a record $5 billion for unfair business practices around Android, its mobile operating system. The investigation focused on Google's deals with phone manufacturers, requiring them to preload specific Google apps and services onto Android phones.

Google Podcasts gets a much-needed personalized recommendations tab .
The Google Podcasts app just got a recommendations tab. The new feature will suggest individual episodes, rather than full shows. That could make it easier to discover content if you don't know where to start, and it may help track people you like across different shows. As an added perk, you won't need to subscribe to the show to listen to the episode. The app is a year-and-a-half old, and as we've said before, it's pretty but basic. It isThe app is a year-and-a-half old, and as we've said before, it's pretty but basic. It is slowly improving -- it added Cast support and made it possible to search for individual episodes. But progress has been very slow.

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