Economy

Missouri is taking page from Europe and investigating Google

Missouri is taking page from Europe and investigating Google

Missouri's attorney general has launched an antitrust investigation into Google aimed at determining whether the internet search giant skews its search results to favor its own services. He says the company will be held accountable and Missouri is not giving Google a free pass.

"There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind", Hawley said in the statement.

Mr. Hawley said the state's preliminary investigation found that Google may be collecting more information from users than the company is telling consumers and that users don't have a "meaningful option" to opt out of Google's data collection.

"This misappropriation hurts business and it threatens to drive Google's competitors out of the market, which in turn deprives consumers of innovation and valuable services", he says.

Google is facing another investigation into its business practices. He says "substantial evidence" suggests the company might manipulate search results to list Google-affiliated websites higher in search results.

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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.

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

In June, the European Union issued Google a record $2.7 billion antitrust fine.

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