Missouri AG subpoenas Google in antitrust investigation

Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco on Oct. 4 2016

Google agreed to change some business practices the FTC said were stifling competition in certain markets. "Google leverages this user information as part of its highly profitable online advertising business, and it also may sell certain user information to third parties".

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says fellow Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama should step aside if allegations that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl decades ago are true.

The Kansas City Star first reported on the investigation.

In the announcement, Hawley's office emphasized the historic $2.7 billion in fines leveled by the European Union against Google for its anti-trust practices and a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center with the Federal Trade Commission on Google's consumer tracking practices.

"There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind", Hawley said.

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Hawley's investigation seeks to determine whether Google violated Missouri's antitrust laws by scraping content from competing websites, bumping down competitors in search results and listing Google-owned sites first.

While Missouri's move is the first state initiative since Washington took notice this fall, it is not the first time that a state's top law enforcement officer has put scrutiny at Google.

The investigation comes as once overwhelmingly positive public opinion about tech companies has started to shift.

We've reached out to Google with a request for comment and will update when we hear back.

"This is not a "Dear Google" letter", he said.

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