Google responds to Missouri consumer-protection investigation

Google responds to Missouri consumer-protection investigation

Google responds to Missouri consumer-protection investigation

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced on Monday that his office has issued an investigation subpoena to Google, Inc.in connection with an investigation into the company's business practices.

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

Missouri's attorney general has launched a broad investigation into whether Google is violating the state's consumer-protection and antitrust laws, a new front in the internet giant's regulatory battles. "We should not just accept the word of these corporate giants that they have our best interests at heart". It's also looking into allegations that the company manipulates search results to favor its own websites over competitors', which has been the subject of recent scrutiny in Europe. "Google leverages this user information as part of its highly profitable online advertising business, and it also may sell certain user information to third parties".

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The Federal Trade Commission has come to rely more heavily on states attorneys general for enforcement.

Hawley, a Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate, has opened his investigation as politicians on both sides of the political spectrum are becoming more critical of large tech companies in the wake of revelations that Russian state agents used social networks to try and influence the 2016 Presidential election.

Federal regulators in the US also have investigated the company over antitrust claims, but Google settled with the Federal Trade Commission in 2013 without making any major concessions on how the company runs its internet search engine.

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He noted that Google entered into an agreement with the FTC in 2012 in which it promised not to engage in misappropriation of competitors' websites data.

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

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