Missouri AG Josh Hawley launches investigation of Google

Randall Padilla
November 14, 2017

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

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley launches an antitrust investigation into Google (GOOGL, GOOG), accusing the company of violating the state's consumer protection laws.

Hawley said it's important to find out how Google handles sensitive information - especially after large companies like Equifax recently suffered massive data breaches. In a statement, Hawley said he also hopes to glean whether the practice.

He says the company hasn't yet received an investigative subpoena issued by Hawley's office. "We want to make sure that Google is not misappropriating it, that they are informing consumers about what they are collecting, that they are using the personal data that they do collect in a lawful manner and that consumers have the option to opt out of any collection that may violate their privacy".

He pointed to the European Union fining Google $2.7 billion in June for unfairly favoring links to its own shopping service over those from other e-commerce websites.

"We are going to act to hold corporate giants accountable. for the good of the people of Missouri", Hawley said. In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a Google program that tracks consumer behavior.

Federal regulators in the USA 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.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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