Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Wednesday that his office has served a new investigative subpoena on tech giant Google as part of its continuing investigation into the company’s business practices.
The new subpoena relates to allegations that the company took improper steps to enhance its market power. Last week, the European Commission imposed a record-breaking $5.1 billion fine on Google for related conduct in the European Union.
The European Commission found that Google had improperly required mobile-device manufacturers to pre-install Google’s search application and web browser as a condition to access many Android applications; that Google had offered certain financial inducements to device manufacturers in exchange for declining to pre-install competing search applications; and other conduct aimed at strengthening Google’s power in the markets for search engines and mobile-device operating systems.
“If the European Commission’s allegations are true, Google’s conduct may have violated both federal and state antitrust laws,” Hawley said. “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.”
Attorney General Hawley continues to lead in the fight to hold tech giants accountable. In November, the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into Google’s business practices.