Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Google has already landed on the bad side of European Union antitrust regulators, receiving a €2.4B fine in June for shopping search practices and facing another fine over its AdSense network.

Missouri's attorney general announced Monday that his office is investigating Google for potential violations of the state's consumer-protection and antitrust laws. According to a news release, he also wants to know if Google is manipulating its search algorithm to "preference websites owned by Google and to demote websites that compete with Google." . He says Google "collects substantial information" about consumers' use of services like the shopping search engine "Googe Shopping", and airline booking service "Google Flights".

He says the company hasn't yet received an investigative subpoena issued by Hawley's office.

Hawley said it's important to find out how Google handles sensitive information - especially after large companies like Equifax recently suffered massive data breaches.

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In addition to online users' location, device information, cookie data, online queries, and website history, Hawley says it is estimated that Google has access to 70% of all card transactions in the United States. "However, we have strong privacy protections in place for our users and continue to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment", Lenihan said.

Hawley said if the allegations are true, Moore should "absolutely step aside".

Additionally, Hawley says he plans to investigate allegations that Google wrongly scrapes material from competitors' sites.

National regulators last probed Google in 2013, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with the internet company.

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