Mo. AG Investigating Google's Competition, Privacy Practices

Josh Hawley

The Missouri attorney general's office is investigating whether Google has run afoul of consumer protection or antitrust laws in the state.

He said, however, that Google has "strong privacy protections in place for our users" and that it continues "to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment". In a statement, Hawley said he also hopes to glean whether the practice.

Statement from Hawley, who is up for reelection: "When a company has access to as much consumer information as Google does, it's my duty to ensure they are using it appropriately".

Hawley on Monday announced the investigation, which comes on the heels of a $2.7 billion fine issued to the company by the European Union for antitrust violations.


Hawley's investigation also aims to learn if the company is breaking the law by leveraging what he calls Google's "near-monopoly" power in the search engine market to stifle competition.

Google, which has challenged the European regulators' fine, didn't immediately comment. In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a Google program that tracks consumer behavior.

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. "My office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits".

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