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The FTC may once again go after Google for abusing search dominance

Ken Wolter /123rf
Google is constantly going through antitrust lawsuits in Europe, but it seems like the company may once again have to deal with them stateside. The FTC is reportedly asking questions about whether or not Google is abusing its dominance in the search market, suggesting that the agency may be looking to reopen an investigation that was closed three years ago.

According to a report from Politico, which cites “sources close to the matter,” antitrust officials at the FTC have been in talks with executives at “a major U.S. company that objects to Google’s practices.” Despite the fact that talks seem to be in their early stages, the reports do show that perhaps Google isn’t done with antitrust lawsuits just yet.

Of course, as mentioned, Google is facing antitrust trouble in Europe. The European Commission filed an antitrust complaint against Google’s mobile operating system, Android, back in April, and is reportedly considering another case into Google search.

Critics of Google suggest that the company has unfairly been using its dominance in search to promote its own products and push links to competitors’ products lower on the results page. While some argue that Google is entitled to do this if it wants to, others suggest that it undermines the fact that many view Google as a neutral path into the internet.

It’s important to note that just because the FTC is investigating doesn’t mean any action will be taken — the agency regularly investigates issues that it never pursues. Still, the news could end badly for Google, despite the FTC voting 5-0 to close a lawsuit against the company in 2013.

Thankfully for Google, it doesn’t seem as though it will have to face two lawsuits in North America — an investigation into its search and advertising was just closed in Canada.

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