Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Google responds to Missouri investigation

Google responds to Missouri investigation

State Attorney General Josh Hawley said in a statement that he issued an investigative subpoena against the tech giant.

Google agreed to change some business practices the FTC said were stifling competition in certain markets. During a news conference today, Hawley says he wants to know if Google is breaking Missouri law by the way it's collecting, using, and releasing information about its users and their online activities.

He said, however, that Google has "strong privacy protections in place for our users" and that it continues "to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment". "My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits".

Missouri is launching an investigation into whether Google has broken its consumer protection and antitrust laws.

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Also of interest to Hawley's investigation is the roughly 70 percent of all card transaction information that Google collects.

The European Union in June issued a $2.7 billion (2.4 billion euro) antitrust fine, which Google has appealed, for unfairly highlighting its own shopping service in search results.

Patrick Lenihan, a Google spokesman, declined to say how the company intends to respond to the subpoena because it has not received it yet. In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a Google program that tracks consumer behavior. "I will not let Missouri consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants".

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