Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google


According to The New York Times, the Justice Department is exploring whether to open a case against Google for potential antitrust violations (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) relating to search and its other businesses, "putting renewed scrutiny on the company amid a growing chorus of criticism about the power of Big Tech." From the report: An investigation into how Google arranges search results could revive a case closed in 2013 by another government agency, the Federal Trade Commission. The five F.T.C. commissioners voted unanimously at the time against bringing charges against the company. Google agreed to make some changes to search practices tied to advertising. But this year, with a new antitrust task force announced in February, the trade commission renewed its interest in Google. In recent weeks, the commission referred complaints about the company to the Justice Department, which also oversees antitrust regulations, according to two people familiar with the actions. The commission has also told companies and others with complaints against Google to take them to the Justice Department. The task force had been looking into Google's advertising practices and influence in the online advertising industry, according to two of the people. One of the people said the agency was also looking into its search practices. Most of Google's revenue comes from advertisements tied to its search results. If the Justice Department opens a formal investigation, it will be its first major antitrust case against a big tech company during the Trump administration. Google, Facebook and Amazon have come under intense bipartisan criticism, and calls to break up the firms have become a talking point in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

view Slashdot