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Bloomberg: FTC Investigation of Google Could Take Years

According to Bloomberg, Google “may be forced to spend years defending itself” in an FTC investigation.

The focus of the investigation? According to the article, which quotes current and former FTC officials, the agency may look at:

  • “Whether Google is using its position in Internet search to subdue rivals in adjacent markets with threats and jacked-up advertising rates, the lawyers said. The company’s conduct in new sectors such as mobile devises, also will probably be a focus.”
  • “Whether Google illegally used its clout as owner of the world’s most popular Internet search engine to exclude competitors from such search markets as travel.”
  • “Whether Google doctored search results to ‘raise the cost of Google’s rivals, raise their advertising costs, raise their development or operating costs.’”
  • “If Google tried ‘to decrease the number of eyeballs’ viewing competitors’ websites.”

Sounds big, right? In fact, according to Bert Foer of the American Antitrust Institute – Google’s position of dominance is unprecedented.

“We’ve never had a Google or a Google equivalent,” Foer said. “We’re going to have feel our way around.”