GOP senator calls Google antitrust probe 'great progress'

A former Missouri attorney general who launched the country’s first investigation into Google praised a recent multi-state investigation into Google and Facebook over possible antitrust violations.

“This is great, great progress,” Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (R-Mo.) told Hill.TV on Tuesday in reference to the bipartisan effort. “It shows what happens if you’re willing to take a stand.”

Hawley noted the shifting political winds in recent years, saying he received pushback from tech companies and lawmakers alike when he initially tried to launch an investigation as state attorney general.

“When I launched an antitrust investigation — this has been two years ago now — I couldn’t get a single state to come on board,” he said. “So now to have almost all 50 is absolutely outstanding.”

His comments come as a coalition of 50 state attorneys general moves to investigate Google and Facebook over potential antitrust violations, alleging that the tech giants have amassed too much market power and exhibit anti-competitive behavior.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has lead the charge and announced the investigation earlier this month.

“While consumers believe that the internet is free, certainly we know from Google’s profits of $117 billion that the internet is not free,” Paxton said at a press conference. “This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the internet.”

House lawmakers, meanwhile, are ramping up their own antitrust investigation into Silicon Valley.

Bipartisan leaders on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee sent letters to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google last week asking for internal communications and documents over pertaining to market dominance.

The companies were given an Oct. 14 deadline to provide the materials.

—Tess Bonn