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etvfutures.com November 19, 2017


Mo. AG Investigating Google's Competition, Privacy Practices

13 November 2017, 11:36 | Cesar Cruz

PoliticMO

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

Missouri's attorney general announced Monday a broad investigation into Google's business practices, including whether the company violated the state's consumer protection and antitrust laws.

"Through this extensive cross-platform data collection, Google can construct highly detailed profiles of users and their online activity", Hawley says in a fact sheet issued Monday. Claire McCaskill's seat in 2018, told reporters that he issued an "investigative subpoena" to the tech giant to gather information.

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.

Hawley also argues that Google may "manipulate the results of its search engine" to favor its own services, even if its algorithms "might otherwise indicate that the websites are less relevant to a user's search than are competitors' websites".

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The Missouri attorney general's office is investigating whether Google has run afoul of consumer protection or antitrust laws in the state.

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's office says USA regulators were wrong not to pursue legal action over potential antitrust violations. A Federal Trade Commission inquiry also prompted Google that year to agree to provide advertisers and patent licensees more flexible terms.



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