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Montana Joins Suit Over Alleged Google Monopolies

a screen capture of a google search page showing a google logo on top and a search form.

The state of Montana has joined the U.S. Department of Justice and 10 other states in filing a lawsuit that alleges tech giant Google has unlawfully maintained monopolies in online searches and advertising.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said in a news release Tuesday that the lawsuit aims to stop Google from using tactics that suppress competition and maintain a monopoly for the company in searches and search advertising. 

In an interview, Fox didn’t give specific examples of who in Montana has been impacted by the alleged monopoly, but said he has no doubt it’s had consequences for the state’s residents. 

"I’m positive that we'll find, not only Montana businesses that are impacted, but certainly Montana consumers who end up paying more for services and consumer items."

He said Montana Department of Justice experts on consumer protection will work on the case.

The complaint argues that Google’s anti-competitive practices limit search options, reduce quality of searches and impede innovation, hurting consumers. 

Google published a response to the lawsuit Tuesday, saying it’s flawed and that "people use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives."

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