The Justice Department and Google each declined to comment.
The Justice Department opened its investigation of Google last year, a probe that initially appeared focused on the company’s advertising business but since then has come to encompass its dominant footprint in online search. It marks the first major entanglement between the U.S. government and the tech giant since 2013, when federal officials last scrutinized Google on antitrust grounds but opted against filing a lawsuit challenging the company. In the meantime, European regulators have slapped Google with billions of dollars in fines for violating antitrust laws.
The department had been eyeing a September lawsuit against Google. U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr this summer sought to speed up the agency’s work, overruling dozens of federal agents who said they needed additional time before they could file a case against Google, The Washington Post previously reported.
State attorneys general, meanwhile, embarked on