Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri's attorney general announced Monday a broad investigation into Google's business practices, including whether the company violated the state's consumer protection and antitrust laws.

The Kansas City Star reported on Monday that Attorney General Josh Hawley has issued subpoenas to Google as part of the investigation. "However, we have strong privacy protections in place for our users and continue to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment", Lenihan said.

"We are going to act to hold corporate giants accountable. for the good of the people of Missouri", Hawley said. But the Federal Trade Commission settled with Google in 2013 and said it didn't find any reasons to impose radical changes on how the company runs its Internet search engine.

Hawley noted Google has access to an estimated 70 percent of all card transactions in the United States, as well as online users' location, device information, cookie data, online queries and website history.

Hawley wants information from Google (goog) to determine whether the company's privacy policy accurately reflects its current data collection and sharing practices and whether those practices "respect and protect consumer privacy", he said.

Missouri's Hawley said the FTC's inaction created an opening. Claire McCaskill's seat in 2018, told reporters that he issued an "investigative subpoena" to the tech giant to gather information.

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Hawley said that "substantial evidence suggests" that Google is manipulating its core search service to list its own Google-websites higher in search results, although he didn't cite the evidence.

While Missouri's move is the first state initiative since Washington took notice this fall, it is not the first time that a state's top law enforcement officer has put scrutiny at Google.

The other issue cited by Hawley may be tied to complaints from Yelp.

Fortune contacted Google for a comment and will update this story if it responds.

The probe comes after European regulators investigated significant aspects of Google's business and as Washington is taking a harder look into the influence of dominant tech companies in American society.

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