FTC goes after Google in antitrust investigation

Google is about to be hit with a big antitrust investigation by the federal government that centers on its Internet ad division. According to a story at the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Trade Commission is preparing to launch a series of subpoenas against the Internet company. This will apparently just be the start of a "wide-ranging, formal antitrust investigation" that will have the FTC checking into whether Google is abusing its current position as one of the biggest Internet-based ad companies.

According to the story, the FTC, which is composed of five members, will send out the subpoenas to Google in a matter of days and other companies who have worked with Google may also be asked for information about their dealings with the company as well. The story says that the investigation will look into whether or not Google "unfairly channels users to its own growing network of services at the expense of rivals." So far, neither the FTC nor Google has commented on the story.

Google has already anticipated some kind of antitrust investigation from the federal government. Last month the company revealed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the Department of Justice was looking "into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers". It added that it didn't know what the final outcome of that probe might be but it had "we accrued $500 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2011". That money might be used to pay the government a settlement fee if the investigation doesn't conclude in Google's favor.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft vs. Apple infographic

Next Story

Google launches its own reverse image search

11 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I can see that the Microsoft fanboys are quick to jump onto the bandwagon in spite, even though Google had nothing to do with MSFT's antitrust case in the 90s. I'm not saying that Google are in the clear, I am not privy to the specifics on the FTC's concerns. What I do think is very clear is the anti-competiveness of Apple in the last few years, wjich ntidot

[ironic that the Apple product I'm using made me accidently post early with jibberish instead allowing me to backspace the misspellings when I write negatively about Apple]

What I think is very clear is that the anti-competiveness of Apple in the last few years has been far worse than what Google could have done. Antidotal evidence of course.

Apple is a much bigger company than Google. Maybe the DOJ/FTC is too scared to go after Apple because they are as big as Microsoft, and going after Microsoft was a pain (even if they won in the end).

Bit stupid telling them beforehand, now they can get rid of any incriminating evidence and no one would be the wiser. Guess its the "legit" way of tipping off their pals in google...

There have been some sketchy bits with ads and mapping, but otherwise I don't see what Google is doing wrong. I for one welcome our Android overlords.

Omega192 said,
There have been some sketchy bits with ads and mapping, but otherwise I don't see what Google is doing wrong. I for one welcome our Android overlords.

+1

norseman said,
Google has too many government bodies in their pocket.

Yep. And it appears to go right to the top... That should be investigated as well.

day2die said,
Good, Google has this coming.

It would be nice for Microsoft to have YouTube metadata so that Windows Phone can properly integrate with YouTube.

Considering that Youtube is coming to the Xbox 360, I think Microsoft will be able to get Youtube Metadata for Windows Phone now.