Missouri attorney general investigating Google

Missouri attorney general investigating Google

Missouri attorney general investigating Google

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

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 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.

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

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

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Google has come under growing scrutiny globally as it has become a top provider of online search, mobile software and advertising technology. "And of course, the data it collects is vast. and affects millions of Missourians". A Federal Trade Commission inquiry also prompted Google that year to agree to provide advertisers and patent licensees more flexible terms. States including Ohio, Mississippi and Texas saw inquiries falter without substantive consequences. 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.

Google has largely steered clear of antitrust problems in the U.S. That's not the case in Europe, where the company faces a fine of about $2.7 billion over the display of its shopping ads.

"We're concerned they're engaged in a similar pattern of behavior in the United States", he told reporters.

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