Missouri AG Issues Investigative Demands to
November 15, 2017
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has issued an investigative
subpoena to Internet giant Google, Inc., in connection with an
investigation into the company’s business practices. Specifically, the
investigation will seek to determine if Google has violated the Missouri
Merchandising Practices Act—Missouri’s principal consumer-protection
statute—and Missouri’s antitrust laws.
The business practices in question are Google’s collection, use, and
disclosure of information about Google users and their online
activities; Google’s alleged misappropriation of online content from the
websites of its competitors; and Google’s alleged manipulation of search
results to preference websites owned by Google and to demote websites
that compete with Google.
“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.”
the state level, Attorney General Hawley is leading the way, holding
tech companies such as Google accountable for their actions. However,
this is not the first-time Google’s business practices have come into
question. 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.
In addition to online users’ location, device information, cookie data,
online queries, and website history, 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