FTC moving forward with broad Google antitrust probe: report

By David Edwards
Thursday, June 23, 2011 12:45 EDT
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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is reportedly preparing to serve Google with civil subpoenas in what will be a broad antitrust probe.

People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the subpoenas would be served within days. Other companies were expected to be subpoenaed about their dealings with Google at a later date.

Google has been hit with a number of antitrust investigations in recent years, but this is the broadest and most serious effort yet.

While past FTC investigations have focused on Google acquisitions, this probe will examine whether the company misused its search engine dominance. For example, the FTC may try to find out if search results prioritized other Google services like YouTube over competing services.

A Senate committee is also considering whether to subpoena Google Chairman Eric Schmitt or CEO Larry Page for an antitrust hearing that will be held in the next month.

“We’re in talks with the subcommittee and will send an executive who can best answer their questions,” a Google spokesperson told CNET Thursday.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has said he was “very disappointed in Google’s response.”

Late last year, the European Union also began a probe to consider allegations that Google violated European competition laws.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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