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Missouri attorney general launches antitrust investigation into Google

By midian182 · 5 replies
Nov 14, 2017
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  1. We’re used to hearing about Google's antitrust violation charges in Europe, but the search giant is now facing similar accusations in its home country. Missouri’s attorney general, Josh Hawley, has issued a subpoena to Google as part of an investigation into whether the company broke state consumer protection and antitrust laws.

    Hawley is trying to determine if Google violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act—Missouri’s principal consumer-protection statute—and other state antitrust laws.

    The business practices being put under a microscope include “Google’s collection, use, and disclosure of information about Google users and their online activities; Google’s alleged misappropriation of online content from the websites of its competitors; and Google’s alleged manipulation of search results to preference websites owned by Google and to demote websites that compete with Google.

    The investigation has parallels with the EU’s long-running investigation into Google. In June, the commission ruled that the company abused its dominant market position by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results while demoting rivals. As a result, Google was hit with a record $2.7 billion fine in June, almost doubling the previous $1.45 billion record fine the EU imposed in 2009 on Intel, which was also charged with engaging in anticompetitive practices.

    “There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind,” said Hawley, who is running for the US Senate in 2018. “My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits.”

    “When a company has access to as much consumer information as Google does, it’s my duty to ensure they are using it appropriately. I will not let Missouri consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants.”

    Google said it has yet to receive the subpoena. "However, we have strong privacy protections in place for our users and continue to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment," said company spokesman Patrick Lenihan.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    Anymore fines of that nature and even Mother Google with all her resources will have to rephrase their stock, acting dumb statement to "However, we have strong privacy protections in place for our users and used to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment that sadly, we are no longer part of,"
     
  3. Edito

    Edito TS Enthusiast Posts: 68   +9

    I don't understand this all mess, so the competitors want google to favor them on their our services? Why would Microsoft favor Google on Bing for example?

    For me the government is just trying to get easy money.
     
  4. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Maniac Posts: 234   +109

    *yawn* It's good to check this stuff but lets be honest, I think Microsoft is worse with information leaking than Google. Also remember, anybody can make accusations against anybody. This means nothing unless they find something.
     
  5. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 324   +156

    So, individuals (the state of Missouri in the case) are using Google, accepting Google's ToU, and the state of Missouri is concerned about data?

    I'm confused as to if individuals actually read the ToU's they are getting into anymore. And if they (inevitably) don't, how they're crying wolf when those same terms are being implemented?

    How about reading what you're getting into, and then intelligently acting on those decisions? I suppose critical thinking is a lost art these days.
     
  6. senketsu

    senketsu TS Addict Posts: 177   +104

    “There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind.......My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits.”
    is this not a succinct way to describe exactly what Google does? They sure are not alone though.
    As far as a ToU/ToS goes, you essentially either agree to hand over everything (and I mean everything) or you don't use the service. This means I must throw out my cellphone and disconnect from the internet. Not very practical is it.
     

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