Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Google is facing another investigation into its business practices.                  Claudia Cruz  CNET

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office on Monday issued a subpoena to Google as part of an investigation into whether the tech giant is violating Missouri's consumer protection and anti-trust laws.

Hawley's office is checking into what Google does with the user information it collects and allegations that it inappropriately scrapes information from competitors' websites.

"There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind", Hawley said.

Google has already landed on the bad side of European Union antitrust regulators, receiving a €2.4B fine in June for shopping search practices and facing another fine over its AdSense network.

Hawley said he is "concerned they are engaging in a similar parttern here in the United States".

In this August 17, 2017, photo, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley talks to supporters during the Governor's Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. He stressed that compliance is not optional. Claire McCaskill in 2018 - slammed the Obama-era Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for being too easy on Google. The investigation will focus on Google's use of data, as well as allegations that it discriminates against competitors in the search results.

Hawley's office argues that federal regulators were wrong not to sue Google and that inaction left an opening for a potential state suit. However, lawmakers in the past year have become increasingly skeptical of and at times antagonistic toward the tech industry.

Google was not immediately available to comment.

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