Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation Of Google

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Written by Ann Brown
Google
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/@pawel_czerwinski

Things aren’t looking good for Google. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is preparing an antitrust probe into tech giant to examine Google’s practices “related to search and other businesses,” reported the Daily Beast.

The Justice Department is laying the first steps in what could “become a wide-ranging probe into the company’s business practices. While the scope of DOJ’s interest is unclear, agency regulators led by antitrust chief Makan Delrahim may focus their attention on Google’s search business, according to two of the people familiar with the possible probe. Google’s advertising practices could also come under scrutiny, said one of the people,” CNN reported.

Google declined to comment on the potential probe as has the Justice Department and FTC.

This isn’t the first time Google was the subject of a US regulators probe. “The company was last under investigation by the FTC as recently as 2013, but emerged relatively unscathed after the firm pledged to change certain aspects of its business, such as how it handles content from third-party travel or shopping sites. The FTC then closed the investigation,” CNN reported.

“If there were a clearance fight over a Google investigation — this is such a big matter that whoever won the clearance fight would almost certainly be opening an investigation,” said Michael Kades, a former FTC antitrust attorney.

“This is a warning sign for Google,” said Gene Kimmelman, a former Justice Department antitrust official. “It’s quite clear the Department of Justice will be at least scrutinizing their behavior very carefully.”