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Google to face antitrust regulators

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Google antitrust issues

US antitrust regulators from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are set to question Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The formal investigation will examine if Google abuses its current market power. Page and Brin will be answering questions on whether the dominant search engine unfairly ranks its own search results to the detriment of other businesses, and if Google increases its advertising rates for competitors.

Last year, the FTC set up an investigation into Google’s search advertising business. Regarding the current step up in the Google antitrust case, spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker refused to comment on the FTC’s proposed questions.

Europe wants answers

Along with this US investigation, the European Commission has also raised concerns about Google ranking and advertising. This Google antitrust investigation was first launched in November 2010 and a letter has since been sent to the search engine giant requesting an explanation as to how Google ranks itself and others.

Joaquin Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, said: “The Commission launched an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google had abused a dominant market position. […] I believe that these fast-moving markets would particularly benefit from a quick resolution of the competition issues identified.” The Commission could charge Google 10 percent of its global revenues and order changes to its operations.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: “Google has faced a number of antitrust investigations. With the US investigation currently stepping up and the European Commission requesting an answer, Google may soon have to provide the necessary responses regarding its position in SERPs along with its advertising rates.”

Written by Lauren Knowles

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