Officials from the Department of Justice will reportedly be meeting this week with representatives of a 50-state coalition of state attorneys general to discuss tag-teaming their efforts to determine if Google's parent company, Alphabet, is in violation of antitrust laws.
At least seven of the state attorneys general, including Texas AG Ken Paxton, who is spearheading the state effort, are expected to attend. The Wall Street Journal, citing the ever-popular "people familiar with the matter," was the first to report on the meeting.
The Department of Justice confirmed in Julythat it was launching an antitrust probe into "market-leading online platforms." Google confirmed in September that it is indeed among those platforms being investigated.
The attorneys general, meanwhile, launched their probe in September. That group includes the attorneys general from 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. (Alabama and California are the two states not participating.)
The meeting between the feds and the states isn't quite a full agreement but rather "the start of a periodic dialogue that could expand into more formal cooperation as the probes continue," the WSJ reports.
The state and federal probes of Google are part of a massive cluster of investigations into the ways "big tech" firms, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google, use and potentially abuse their outsized market power. In addition to the coalition of states attorneys general and the Justice Department, Google is under investigation by the House Antitrust Subcommittee.
The House, as part of its probe, issued an absolutely massive request for documentation to all four companies in late September. Those responses have been coming in to the committee in chunks while the general investigation continues. Most recently, the Antitrust subcommittee held a field hearing in Colorado at which executives from several companies spoke about the market pressures they feel from the largest competitors.
Among those witnesses was Sonos CEO Patrick Spence, whose company filed suit against Google earlier this month for patent infringement. "Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology," Spence said at the time. "Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We're left with no choice but to litigate."