"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. Second, he listed the alleged "misappropriation of competitors' information for Google's own profit". Hawley noted that Google was fined $2.7 billion earlier this year by the European Union for for abusing its market dominance as a search engine to promote its own comparison shopping service. The business reviews' website wrote the FTC and the attorney generals of all 50 states in September that Google has copied images from its service without permission in violation of a commitment made to the USA antitrust regulator.
Missouri's attorney general has launched a broad investigation into whether Google is violating the state's consumer-protection and antitrust laws, a new front in the internet giant's regulatory battles.
Hawley - a Republican who is running for the GOP Senate nomination to challenge sitting Democratic Sen. The state has issued Google a subpoena seeking information about its business practices. 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.
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Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The idea that Google was unfairly suppressing search results for its competitors got scant traction in the US after the FTC concluded in 2013 that the company wasn't trying to stifle competition.
Additionally, Hawley says he plans to investigate allegations that Google wrongly scrapes material from competitors' sites.