Google will face a flurry of interest over its online advertising policies in 48 US States, according to reports in the press

A group of 48 US States has launched an antitrust probe against Google, over concerns that it is increasing costs for advertisers and manipulating its search results.

Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, will head up the suit, which includes every US State except California and Alabama.

“This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet,” Paxton told journalists from Bloomberg.

With revenues of more than $116 billion from advertising last year, digital advertising accounts for over 85 per cent of its overall sales. The 48 States allege that Google was intentionally manipulating its search results to unfairly favour its key sponsors and advertisers.

Public Citizen, a US consumer group, hailed the decision to investigate the US web giant’s advertising practices, saying that they represented a "serious problem for [the US] economy".

“The time has come for the tech giants to be held accountable for violating our antitrust laws,” Public Citizen, a government-transparency group, said in a statement.

Google has yet to comment on the developments. 

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