Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said on Monday in a press conference that his office has issued a subpoena to Google seeking information on the company's business practices.
GA Hawley says the subpoena is the first step of an antitrust investigation his Office has started against the search giant on suspicion of violating "the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act—Missouri’s principal consumer-protection statute—and Missouri’s antitrust laws."
"There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind," Hawley said. "My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits."
Hawley said his team will look into:
GA Hawley is also running for Senate in 2018 for the Republican Party. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, an early Facebook investor and ardent Google critic, have given over $300,000 to Hawley's senatorial campaign.
Experts have pointed out that this may be payback for what is perceived as Google historical backing of Democrat candidates.
In June this year, the EU levied a €2.42 billion ($2.72 billion) fine against Google for abusing its dominant market position and tweaking search results to favor its Google Shopping service to the detriment of its direct competitors.
Google is also facing two other EU antitrust probes. One is for the Android mobile operating system, where "Google has stifled choice and innovation in a range of mobile apps and services by pursuing an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in general internet search," and the second for AdSense, where the EU believes "Google has reduced choice by preventing third-party websites from sourcing search ads from Google's competitors."
Google escaped an antitrust probe in the US unscathed in 2013 when an FTC investigation found the company not guilty of any search bias and other monopolistic practices.
Google has not responded to the Missouri AG investigation.