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Google Faces Antitrust Investigation in Missouri

14 November 2017, 01:26 | Melanie Burgess

Google Faces Antitrust Investigation in Missouri

Google Faces Antitrust Investigation in Missouri

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

Hawley, who's running for U.S. Senate next year, is launching the investigation at a time when America's largest tech companies are facing considerable scrutiny from both parties for their position in both America's corporate and civic spheres.

"It is a very strong concern that we have potentially in Google a company that is gathering all sorts of personal confidential information and then using that personal confidential information for profit", says Hawley.

Attorney generals of 37 states reached a $7 million settlement in 2013 over Google's unauthorized collection of Wi-Fi data through its Street View digital-mapping cars.

"This is not a "Dear Google" letter", he said.

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Hawley's office said Missouri's strong consumer-protection laws could help with a potential lawsuit over user data.

The European Union in June issued a $2.7 billion (2.4 billion euro) antitrust fine, which Google has appealed, for unfairly highlighting its own shopping service in search results.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal regulators in the US 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.



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