Google Could Face Another Antitrust Probe By The FTC

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A Google antitrust probe could be underway again. Bloomberg claims that new investigation is being planned once more by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, an agency which Google has became so acquainted with lately in terms of the issue of unfair competition.

The FTC alleged that Google is using its position in the online display-advertising market to illegally shift the competition mainly into its favor, said Bloomberg. The Google antitrust probe is a follow-up of the preliminary investigation of the FTC last January which was finished without an action from the part of the agency concerned said the source.

The Probe

Currently, the government agency is said to be looking into whether the giant company is using its position in U.S. display ads to force other companies to use more of its other services or properties, which is a practice not allowed by antitrust laws. The report pointed out that the display ads industry amounts to around $17.7 billion.

A related report from TechCrunch says that Google has a share of 17.6 percent on the figure which is the majority and followed by Yahoo and Facebook. In 2012, Google’s revenue reached $2.26 billion from the display ads. Then, this 2013 the figure might spike up to $3.11 added the same source.

The previous investigation lasted for 20 months but it ended up with a settlement from both parties with Google promising to make voluntary changes in its system, including how it handles Adwords campaign, further stated TechCrunch.

The Justice Department Approval

FTC got its blessing from the Justice Department to pursue the probe under  a condition that the department’s own antitrust division will have a separate investigation on other matters related to the issue.

The FTC Statement

The investigating agency said that it will closely monitor the markets, so if Google should engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive product, they will do their best to act swiftly on the matter.

Source: Bloomberg and TechCrunch

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