Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office has issued a subpoena to internet giant Google in connection with an investigation into the company's business practices. He expressed concern over the accuracy of the company's privacy policy, allegations it misappropriated content from rivals and claims it demoted competitors' websites in search results.

Attorney generals of 37 states reached a $7 million settlement in 2013 over Google's unauthorized collection of Wi-Fi data through its Street View digital-mapping cars. Google has said it provides consumers with the option to control their privacy settings and does not provide third parties with personally identifiable information like names, email addresses and billing information.

The Missouri investigation comes on the heels of a $2.7 billion antitrust fine issued to the tech giant by the European Union in June for unfairly featuring its own shopping services in its influential search results.

He says most people don't realize that Google builds individual user profiles of those who use the company's services.

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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. Hawley said he was moved to act because of concern that Google is engaging in similar behavior domestically.

The investigation will seek to determine if Google has violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act - its principal consumer-protection law - and other state antitrust laws, according to a statement.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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