There’s no question that Google is the king of search – and has many other far-reaching plans for its Internet applications. Problem is, the US government sees this as its play for total Web domination. Senator Herb Kohl announced the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights’ agenda for 2011 today, revealing it wants to address Google’s “dominance over Internet search,” as well as “allegations raised by e-commerce websites that compete with Google that they are being treated unfairly in search ranking, and in their ability to purchase search advertising.”
Google’s acquisition of travel software company ITA drew attention from the government, and in January there were rumblings that the Justice Department could block the deal, or level Google with an antitrust lawsuit.
Google has already been slapped with anti-trust investigations from the European Commission, which believes the site has manipulating search results to benefit its own Web properties or those of its affiliates. But problems back home will surely intensify the scrutiny Google is already facing.
But Google isn’t the only company being placed under the microscope. Senator Kohl also says his subcommittee plans to investigate the Comcast-NBC merger “to ensure that these conditions are being properly applied to foster competition, including competition from new forms of Internet delivery of video content.” The merger was finalized by the FCC in back in January, and the commission planned to impose strict terms to make certain neither party abused their business relationship and stifled the competition.