Mo. AG Investigating Google's Competition, Privacy Practices

14 November, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Josh Hawley

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.

Missouri's attorney general is trying to find out if Google has violated the state's antitrust and consumer protection laws.

"Substantial evidence exists that Google may manipulate the results to list Google-affiliated websites higher in the search results", said Hawley during that conference.

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.

With the investigation, the state's top lawyer will examine Google's collection, use and disclosure of personal information; its "alleged misappropriation of online content from the websites of its competitors;" and its manipulation of search results to preference "websites owned by Google" and to "demote" websites that compete with Google, according to a statement.

Hawley's probe intends to look at how Google collects information, and how and what they share about somebody's online activities.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hawley on Monday said he also agrees with sentiments from the White House, saying Moore has a right to defend himself against the claims reported by the Washington Post.

Hawley's office argues that federal regulators were wrong not to sue Google and that inaction left an opening for a potential state suit. In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a Google program that tracks consumer behavior.

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