Skip to main content

FTC to hit Google with antitrust probe, report says

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The US Federal Trade Commission is reportedly preparing to serve Google with subpoenas related to a broad antitrust investigation. People familiar with the matter tell the Wall Street Journal that the FTC probe seeks to discover whether Google has abused its dominance online.

The Google investigation represents the most serious move by the FTC against Mountain View, California-based company. Prior FTC activity related to Google has centered around the company’s mergers and acquisitions of other companies.

Neither Google nor the FTC have yet agreed to comment on the investigation.

The FTC’s probe will center on Google’s advertising business, which remains the primary revenue generator for the company. Google searches currently account for roughly two-thirds of all search activity that takes place online. The FTC seeks to discover whether Google is unfairly funneling Internet users to search results for companies it owns.

Google is currently under investigation in the European Union for a range of antitrust activity. Ironically, one of the companies that have sued Google for antitrust activities in the EU is Microsoft, once the technology world’s most notorious antitrust villain. Microsoft’s action follows similar lawsuits filed by organizations from the UK, France and Germany. Google is also under investigation for anticompetitive practices by the state of Texas.

On top of all this, the US Senate is reportedly adding heat to a separate, ongoing antitrust investigation into Google. According to CNet, a Senate subcommittee is threatening to subpoena Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to question them on their company’s practices. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said he has so far been “very disappointed” in Google’s reluctance to send an executive to appear before the subcommittee. A Google spokesperson told CNet today that it  “will send an executive who can best answer their questions.”

Experts say that an FTC probe could tie up Google in legal battles for years to come.

(Image via)

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
ChatGPT: the latest news, controversies, and tips you need to know
ChatGPT app running on an iPhone.

ChatGPT has continued to dazzle the internet with AI-generated content, morphing from a novel chatbot into a piece of technology that is driving the next era of innovation. No tech product in recent memory has sparked as much interest, controversy, fear, and excitement.

If you're just now catching on, it'd be fair to wonder what the fuss is all about. You can try it out for yourself for free (or use the official free iOS app), but here's the detailed guide you've been looking for -- whether you're worried about an AI apocalypse or are just looking for an intro guide to the app.

Read more
MSI could be prepping next-gen OLED gaming monitors — and they look insane
Marvel's Spider-Man running on the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8.

MSI is getting serious in the gaming monitor space. Newly leaked information suggests that the company is preparing at least six new QD-OLED monitors that are set to arrive in the coming months. It is said that the new models will range from 27 inches to 49 inches in size, with refresh rates of up to 360Hz.

The alleged information comes from Twitter/X user @chi11eddog, who is known for consistent and reliable leaks, particularly regarding MSI and general hardware-related information. The upcoming monitors are expected to be part of MSI’s MPG and MAG series of product lines, with the first new model scheduled for November 2023.

Read more
Bing Chat’s ads are sending users to dangerous malware sites
Bing Chat shown on a laptop.

Since it launched, Microsoft’s Bing Chat has been generating headlines left, right, and center -- and not all of them have been positive. Now, there’s a new headache for the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, as it’s been found it has a tendency to send you to malware websites that can infect your PC.

The discovery was made by antivirus firm Malwarebytes, which discussed the incident in a blog post. According to the company, Bing Chat is displaying malware advertisements that send users to malicious websites instead of filtering them out.

Read more