Missouri's attorney general has launched an antitrust investigation into Google aimed at determining whether the internet search giant skews its search results to favor its own services. He is also looking into whether Google scrapes information without permission from competitors like Yelp Inc.to use for its own search results, and is questioning Google's collection, use and disclosure of information about its users and their online activities.
"We're concerned they're engaged in a similar pattern of behavior in the United States", he told reporters.
The probe comes after European regulators investigated significant aspects of Google's business and as Washington is taking a harder look into the influence of dominant tech companies in American society. It has disputed European regulators' charges.
Google has largely steered clear of antitrust problems in the U.S. That's not the case in Europe, where the company faces a fine of about $2.7 billion over the display of its shopping ads.
Hawley - a Republican who is running for the GOP Senate nomination to challenge sitting Democratic Sen.
Hawley's office said Missouri's strong consumer-protection laws could help with a potential lawsuit over user data. Claire McCaskill in 2018 - slammed the Obama-era Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for being too easy on Google. In Congress, however, the search giant and other dominant tech companies have come under increased criticism in recent months over a range of issues, from their failure to prevent Russian operatives from manipulating their platforms during the 2016 election to their sprawling size and industry-swallowing operations. While Republicans are typically more "pro business", the GOP has become more populist under President Trump's leadership.
Google was not immediately available to comment.