Nov 13, 2017

Missouri attorney general launches Google antitrust investigation

Google is one of several big tech comapnies facing new political pressure. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Missouri's attorney general is investigating Google for potential violations of the state's competition and consumer protection laws.

Why it matters: The United States has lagged behind Europe in pursuing antitrust cases against tech giants. It's not clear that that's going to change anytime soon in Washington, but state AGs could channel a rising skepticism of Big Tech's influence into their own investigations.

The details: The probe focuses on Google's handling of consumer data, "alleged manipulation of search results to preference websites owned by Google and to demote websites that compete with Google," and allegations that the company "unlawfully scrapes content" from its competitors. It was first reported by the Kansas City Star. Google declined to comment.

Worth noting: The attorney general, Josh Hawley, is running for Senate next year, and struck a populist tone in announcing his investigation. "There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind," he said in a statement.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.