Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office on Monday issued a subpoena
to Google as part of an investigation into whether the tech giant
is violating Missouri’s consumer protection and anti-trust laws.
investigation delves into Google’s collection of data on users and
whether Google, the world’s most popular search engine, has
manipulated search results at the expense of competitors,
according to a release from Hawley’s office.
a company has access to as much consumer information as Google
does, it’s my duty to ensure they are using it appropriately,”
said Hawley, a Republican who is mounting
a campaign for U.S. Senate. “I will not let Missouri
consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants.”
Lenihan, Google’s spokesman, said in an email that the company has
not yet received the subpoena. Lenihan said Google has “strong
privacy protections in place for our users and continue to operate
in a highly competitive and dynamic environment.”
investigation also will look at whether Google has misappropriated
content from competitors. Yelp wrote a letter to the Federal Trade
Commission in September contending that Google has violated a 2012
settlement by allegedly scraping photos from Yelp reviews for its
own search results.
is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with
the best interest of Missourians in mind,” Hawley said in a
statement. “My Office will not stand by and let private consumer
information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad
California-based company had a brand value of nearly $102 billion
as of May, according to Forbes.
has made significant investments in the Kansas City area, choosing
the region to roll out its Google
Fiber broadband service in 2011. Google
Fiber is now available in 11 metro areas across the country.