Mo. AG Investigating Google's Competition, Privacy Practices

Hawley's office says U.S. regulators were wrong not to pursue legal action over potential antitrust violations

Google agreed to change some business practices the FTC said were stifling competition in certain markets.

Missouri's attorney general has launched a broad investigation into whether Google is violating the state's consumer-protection and antitrust laws, a new front in the internet giant's regulatory battles.

It reported 385,888 images of local businesses posted by Yelp users had appeared in Google's local search results, a direct violation of the settlement.

Claire McCaskill's seat in 2018, told reporters that he issued an "investigative subpoena" to the tech giant to gather information.

Hawley said the Federal Trade Commission under former President Barack Obama "did not take any enforcement action against Google, did not press this forward and has essentially given them a free pass". In a statement, Hawley said he also hopes to glean whether the practice.

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

Google, which has challenged the European regulators' fine, didn't immediately comment.

Mr. Hawley said the state's preliminary investigation found that Google may be collecting more information from users than the company is telling consumers and that users don't have a "meaningful option" to opt out of Google's data collection. "My office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits".

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