More than two months after it was first reported that the Federal Trade Commission was thinking about launching an investigation into antitrust concerns surrounding Google, it looks like the FTC might be ready to start probing in earnest by issuing formal demands for information from the search engine behemoth.
Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the FTC will be sending out these subpoenas “within days,” and that other companies will also likely be sent requests for information about their dealings with Big G.
From the WSJ:
The new FTC investigation… will examine fundamental issues relating to Google’s core search advertising business, which still accounts for the overwhelming majority of its revenues. Those will 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 rivals’.
Google is already under the antitrust microscope here in the U.S. — the state of Texas is investigating the company, the Attorney General of Ohio is considering a probe, and several Senators have called for a Judiciary subcomittee hearing — and in Europe, where Microsoft filed a complaint regarding Google’s search engine dominance.
FTC to Serve Google With Subpoenas in Broad Antitrust Probe [Wall Street Journal]