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Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will hold a press conference Monday, November 13 at 10:30 a.m.to announce a new initiative aimed at a major tech company.

Missouri's attorney general said Monday that he has launched an investigation into whether Google has mishandled private customer data and manipulated its search results to favor its own products and stifle competitors. He is also looking into whether Google scrapes information without permission from competitors like Yelp Inc.to use for its own search results, and is questioning Google's collection, use and disclosure of information about its users and their online activities. The investigation will focus on Google's use of data, as well as allegations that it discriminates against competitors in the search results. It has disputed European regulators' charges.

Hawley says he plans to examine several issues, including whether Google's privacy policy adequately discloses its data-mining practices.

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With heightened concerns on Capitol Hill from both Democrats and Republicans, Silicon Valley is navigating a political reckoning of sorts. "Google leverages this user information as part of its highly profitable online advertising business, and it also may sell certain user information to third parties".

Federal regulators in the USA also have investigated the company over antitrust claims, but Google settled with the Federal Trade Commission in 2013 without making any major concessions on how the company runs its internet search engine.

"Frankly, the FTC - the Obama-era FTC - did not take any enforcement actions against Google. and has essentially given them a free pass", he said. However, lawmakers in the past year have become increasingly skeptical of and at times antagonistic toward the tech industry. Claire McCaskill's seat in 2018, told reporters that he issued an "investigative subpoena" to the tech giant to gather information.