Missouri’s attorney general said his office would enquirer into whether Alphabet Inc’s Google breach the state’s consumer safety and antitrust laws.
A Republican Josh Hawley trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in next year’s elections, declare at a press conference that he provide an investigative subpoena to Google.
He show concern over the precision of the company’s privacy strategy, claiming it unfair content from rivals and claims it downgrade competitors’ websites in search results.
Google said it had not yet received the writing order.
“But, we have strong privacy protections in place for our users and keep on to operate in a highly competitive and energetic environment,” spokesperson Andrea Faville said this in a statement.
Google has come under growing inspection worldwide as it has become a top provider of online search, mobile software and advertising technology.
But formal investigations have attained different results in the last seven years.
Attorney generals of 37 states reached a $7 million agreement in 2013 over Google’s unofficial collection of Wi-Fi data via its Street View digital-mapping cars.
A Federal Trade Commission inquiry also prompted Google that year to concur to provide advertisers and copyright licensees more easy terms.
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The FTC, though, did not bring the stronger antitrust charges that Google competitors such as Microsoft Corp and Yelp Inc sought.
States including Ohio, Mississippi and Texas saw inquiries delay without substantive result.
Missouri’s Hawley said the FTC’s lack of action created an opening.
“We are going to act to hold corporate giants responsible for the good of the people of Missouri,” Hawley said.
When asked at the press conference whether his senate candidacy played a role in opening the Google inquiry, Hawley said he take action upon his oath of office and desire “to get to the truth.”
In June European Union charge Google $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring links to its own shopping service over those from other e-commerce websites Hawley stated this.
Hawley said he was moved to take action because of worry that Google is engaging in similar behavior domestically.
Google is soliciting the EU charge.
The other problems noted by Hawley might be tied to complaints from Yelp.
The business evaluation’ website wrote the FTC and the attorney generals of all 50 states in September that Google has copied images from its service without authorization in violation of a commitment made to the United States antitrust regulator.