FTC’s Google Probe Moving Ahead, WSJ Reports
The seemingly inevitable antitrust investigation of Google appears to be taking another step forward, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the US Federal Trade Commission is “poised” to serve the company with subpoenas as part of a probe.
Google may receive the FTC demands within days, and other companies may get similar requests asking for information “about their dealings with Google,” the paper reports.
The investigation seems likely focused around Google’s search ads and whether Google has somehow exercised unfair dominance of that area. From the WSJ article:
The new inquiry, by contrast, will examine fundamental issues relating to Google’s core search-advertising business, said people familiar with the matter. The business is the source of most of Google’s revenue. The issues include whether Google — which accounts for around two-thirds of Internet searches in the U.S. and more abroad — unfairly channels users to its own growing network of services at the expense of rival providers.
This FTC investigation has been expected for some time amidst calls in Congress for an examination of Google’s business practices. There’s also interest at the state level, with Texas’ attorney general launching an investigation last year. Google also faces an antitrust investigation in Europe, as well.
Representatives from both Google and the FTC declined to talk to the WSJ about today’s report.
Also see our other post today, Googleopoly: The Definitive Guide To Antitrust Investigations Against Google. It covers the Texas and EU actions, along with many other related cases.