Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office has served another subpoena to Google for potentially violating Missouri law. Hawley’s subpoena involves allegations that the company took improper steps to enhance its market power. The legal move follows the European Commission fining Google $5.1 billion last week for related conduct in the European Union.
The commission has found that Google improperly required mobile manufacturers to pre-install Google’s search application and browser as a condition to access many Android applications. It also says Google offered certain financial incentives to manufacturers in exchange for declining to pre-install competing search applications. The panel says Google did other things aimed at strengthening the tech company’s power in the markets.
“If the European Commission’s allegations are true, Google’s conduct may have violated both federal and state antitrust laws,” Hawley says in a press release. “Google’s alleged conduct does not merely undermine free and efficient markets; it undermines fundamental consumer privacy interests by excluding companies that would compete with Google by providing greater protections for users’ personal information.”
In November, the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into Google’s business practices. The Office is also investigating Facebook and recent data breaches at Uber and Equifax.
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