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Google hit with third antitrust lawsuit as more than 30 U.S. states sue

Dec 17 (Reuters) - A group of U.S. state attorneys general including Colorado and 34 other states filed an antitrust complaint against Alphabet Inc’s Google on Thursday, marking the third lawsuit against the online search and advertising company this fall.

The states could ask that their lawsuit be consolidated with one filed by the Justice Department in October.

The federal government’s complaint was joined by 11 states and accused the $1 trillion giant of acting unlawfully to maintain its position in search and advertising on the internet. On Wednesday, a group of Republican attorneys general led by Texas filed a separate lawsuit focused on Google’s dominance of digital advertising.

These lawsuits, in addition to two filed against social media giant Facebook Inc this month, promise to be the biggest antitrust cases in a generation, as big as the lawsuit against Microsoft filed in 1998. That lawsuit was credited with clearing the way for the explosive growth of the internet.

The lawsuits mark a rare moment of agreement between Democrats and the Trump administration, whose criticisms seem to focus less on antitrust concerns and more on allegations that the platforms stifle conservative voices. Both moderate and progressive Democrats have praised the government’s lawsuit.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Paresh Dave in Oakland, California; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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