SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFFREY LAND, SAYING:
"We are here because there is an absolutely existential threat in our virtual marketplace."
That's Louisiana Attorney General Jeffrey Landry, one of the 50 attorneys general representating U.S states and territories who banned together Monday to officially launch a probe into whether search giant Google is abusing power as a monopoly.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is taking the lead on the bi-partisan investigation.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL KEN PAXTON, SAYING:
"This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet. This investigation is not a lawsuit, it is an investigation to determine the facts and right now we are looking at advertising, but the facts will lead where the facts will lead."
Privacy advocates, consumer rights groups, and small busineses have long complained that Google's domination of Internet searches has given it an unfair advantage that it uses to line its pockets.
DC Attorney General Karl Racine seemed sympathetic to those accusations.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ATTORNEY GENERAL KARL RACINE, SAYING:
"Attorney generals really care about where the rubber meets the road and that is for the residents of their states and consumers. We also care about businessess, especially small businessess that may be locked out as a result of what may be monopolistic power."
When word leaked of the probe on Friday - Google said it would work constructively with the AGs.
Florida AG Ashley Moody says it's time to figure out if Google's domination of search undermines the very premise of a free and open Internet.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHLEY MOODY, SAYING:
"Is something really free if we are increasingly giving over our privacy information? Is something really free if online ad prices go up based on one company's control?
But Google isn't the only big tech company in the crosshairs of state AGs. On Friday, New York spearheaded a focus on Facebook and its social media dominance.
AGs on Monday said it was conceivable the two probes could actually be combined.
And worries of anticompetitve behavior by tech firms doesn't stop there. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are also conducting anti-trust probes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.