Hawley subpoenas Google, says Missouri is not giving company a "free pass"

14 November, 2017, 01:50 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Credit Chris Ratcliffe  Bloomberg

The attorney general for Missouri, Josh Hawley, on Monday said he has issued an investigative subpoena to Google to determine if it has violated Missouri's main consumer protection law and its antitrust laws.

Google is facing another investigation into its business practices.

When asked whether his bid for national office influenced his decision to go after one of the most influential tech companies in the world, Hawley said, "My decision to pursue Google goes back to my oath of office", to protect the people of Missouri.

Also of interest to Hawley's investigation is the roughly 70 percent of all card transaction information that Google collects.

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




"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 stated. He says "substantial evidence" suggests the company might manipulate search results to list Google-affiliated websites higher in search results.

The Missouri investigation comes on the heels of a $2.7 billion antitrust fine issued to the tech giant by the European Union in June for unfairly featuring its own shopping services in its influential search results.

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

Hawley's office argues that federal regulators were wrong not to sue Google and that inaction left an opening for a potential state suit.

National regulators last probed Google in 2013, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with the internet company.

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