October 22, 2019 / 11:00 PM / 23 days ago

Exclusive: U.S. states plan Google antitrust meeting next month in Colorado - sources

FILE PHOTO: A Google sign is seen during the WAIC (World Artificial Intelligence Conference) in Shanghai, China, September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. state attorneys general probing Alphabet’s Google plan to meet next month in Colorado to discuss a probe into whether the search giant’s business practices break antitrust law, according to three sources knowledgeable about the meeting.

The meeting, which is being planned for Nov. 11, would be similar to a gathering this week in New York where state and federal enforcers from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission discussed their probe of Facebook, according to one of the sources.

A second source said that this meeting would touch on organizational issues and was likely to be one in a long series of gatherings to discuss the probe.

The investigation of Google appears to be well underway since Texas sent the search and advertising giant a subpoena asking for information about its ad business. As of earlier this month, Google began sending data to the attorneys general.

The investigation, which involves all state attorneys general except Alabama and California, seeks to dig into the opaque business of online digital advertising, where Google is a dominant player. Attorneys general for the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico are also part of the investigation.

Google, which had no comment for this story, offers free searches, email and other services but much of its revenue is from advertising.

Google has previously said that it was cooperating with federal regulators and with the state probe.

Google faces two other major inquiries - a U.S. Justice Department investigation and a probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee - both of which have broad reviews of the big internet companies underway.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld and David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Stephen Coates

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