Skip to Content

Hawley begins investigation into Google in connection to the company’s business practices

UPDATE: (AP) – Google is defending itself after Missouri’s attorney general launched an investigation of the company for potential violations of the state’s antitrust and consumer-protection laws.

Google spokesman Patrick Lenihan in a Monday statement said the company has “strong privacy protections in place” and operates in a “highly competitive” environment.

He says the company hasn’t yet received an investigative subpoena issued by Hawley’s office.

Hawley on Monday announced the investigation, which comes on the heels of a $2.7 billion fine issued to the company by the European Union for antitrust violations.

Federal regulators in the U.S. have also investigated Google over antitrust claims. But the Federal Trade Commission settled with Google in 2013 and said it didn’t find any reasons to impose radical changes on how the company runs its Internet search engine.

ORIGINAL: Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced on Monday that his office has issued an investigation subpoena to Google, Inc. in connection with an investigation into the company’s business practices.

Hawley said he will be specifically looking into if Google has violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and Missouri’s antitrust laws.

Some business practices that are in question are Google’s collection, use and disclosure of information about Google users and their online activities.

“There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind,” Hawley said. “My office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits.”

In June, the European Union issued Google a record $2.7 billion antitrust fine. Then in July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a Google program that tracks consumer behavior.

Hawley said it is estimated that Google has access to 70 percent of all card transactions in the United States.

“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 said. “I will not let Missouri consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants.”

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content