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Google responds to Missouri investigation
14 November 2017, 01:23 | Frank Carlson
Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Monday that he was issuing a subpoena to the tech giant.
Google is defending itself after Missouri's attorney general launched an investigation of the company for potential violations of the state's antitrust and consumer-protection laws.
He says most people don't realize that Google builds individual user profiles of those who use the company's services.
Hawley's office is checking into what Google does with the user information it collects and allegations that it inappropriately scrapes information from competitors' websites.
Google has come under growing scrutiny globally as it has become a top provider of online search, mobile software and advertising technology. Hawley said the Federal Trade Commission under former President Barack Obama "did not take any enforcement action against Google, did not press this forward and has essentially given them a free pass".
The FTC, though, did not bring the stronger antitrust charges that Google rivals such as Microsoft Corp. and Yelp Inc. sought. Google has said it provides consumers with the option to control their privacy settings and does not provide third parties with personally identifiable information like names, email addresses and billing information.
"There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind", Hawley said in a statement.
The other issue cited by Hawley may be tied to complaints from Yelp.
Mr. Hawley said his probe was in part prompted by a record $2.7 billion fine European regulators levied against Google in June for allegedly favoring its services in its search results.
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