Missouri Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google

Gladys Abbott
November 14, 2017

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.

Hawley, a Republican, is also questioning Google's alleged practice of "scraping" of online content from competing websites.

Google is facing another investigation into its business practices.

The company operates "in a highly competitive and dynamic environment", Patrick Lenihan said in an emailed statement.

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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.

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.

We've reached out to Google with a request for comment and will update when we hear back. In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a Google program that tracks consumer behavior.

Hawley noted Google has access to an estimated 70 percent of all card transactions in the United States, as well as online users' location, device information, cookie data, online queries and website history. "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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