Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Josh Hawley

The investigation delves into Google's collection of data on users and whether Google, the world's most popular search engine, has manipulated search results at the expense of competitors, according to a release from Hawley's office.

Missouri is launching an investigation into whether Google has broken its consumer protection and antitrust laws.

A Google spokesman said that the company had not yet received Missouri´s subpoena, but that it has "strong privacy protections in place for our users".

Late last month in hearings before the House and Senate, representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter were taken to task for their potential role in distributing Russian propaganda during the last Presidential election.

Google agreed to change some business practices the FTC said were stifling competition in certain markets.

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"We are going to act to hold corporate giants accountable. for the good of the people of Missouri", Hawley said.

He pointed to the European Union fining Google $2.7 billion in June for unfairly favoring links to its own shopping service over those from other e-commerce websites.

Hawley's office is checking into what Google does with the user information it collects and allegations that it inappropriately scrapes information from competitors' websites.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"It is a very strong concern that we have potentially in Google a company that is gathering all sorts of personal confidential information and then using that personal confidential information for profit", says Hawley. "I will not let Missouri consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants".

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