Uh oh. Naughty Google. Supposedly the US Federal Trade Commission is on the brink of issuing subpoenas to Google for several antitrust investigations. It’s all down to their search and advertising trading that’s apparently breaking civil antitrust laws.
The FTC has been putting together its evidence that Google’s search / advertising operations are advocating “illegal anticompetitive behavior.” There’s no news about when the subpoenas are actually due to drop, but unnamed sources have indicated it should happen in the next couple of days.
This isn’t the first time that Google’s been under the microscope for its advertising. Their acquisition of AdMob came under scrutiny (and the company locked horns with Apple over the matter), but that legality issue didn’t have the effect that this investigation is expected to have.
It’s unlikely that fines would come into play, but the issuing of cease-and-desist orders could become a valid ploy by the FTC.
And it’s not just in the US (it does hold 65% of the country’s search traffic). The company has seen similar investigations from The European Commission, which are still pending a verdict.
Google will find itself more and more under the spotlight as its influence over the web grows and grows.