Missouri AG investigating Google for antitrust violations

Ivan Schwartz
November 14, 2017

Missouri's attorney general says his office will investigate Google for potential violations of the state's antitrust and consumer-protection laws.

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.

"There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind", said Hawley, a Republican running for a US Senate seat in 2018. "My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits".

Google spokesman Patrick Lenihan in a Monday statement said the company has "strong privacy protections in place" and operates in a "highly competitive" environment.

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

In September, Yelp wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that Google had violated a 2012 settlement by allegedly scraping photos from online reviews for its own search results.

The subpoena seeks information about Google's use of the vast trove of data it collects, including information harvested from devices, online queries and credit card transactions.

"We want to make sure that Google is not misappropriating it, that they are informing consumers about what they are collecting, that they are using the personal data that they do collect in a lawful manner and that consumers have the option to opt out of any collection that may violate their privacy". "I will not let Missouri consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants".

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