The FTC is moving forward in pursuing a possible antitrust lawsuit against Google on the grounds that they used their position on top of the search market to hurt their competition. While four of the commissioners involved seem certain that this is the case, the fifth is more skeptical.

This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on Google’s situation with the FTC, and is far from likely that it will be the last. This particular matter isn’t the only one, either. In addition to being investigated over possible misuse of its search dominance, just earlier this week we mentioned the FTC’s scrutiny of Google regarding its patents.

The Matter at Hand

It isn’t other search engines that are complaining about Google; rather it’s more specialized companies that focus on things like travel and shopping.  Both Yelp and Nextag have openly complained about Google to congress during hearings. They allege that Google lowers competitors search engine rankings to drive customers to their own products, meaning that other companies need to purchase advertising if they want to be displayed in a prominent position on Google.

Google denies this, saying that they aren’t doing anything wrong. While Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick has said that “”We are happy to answer any questions that regulators have about our business,” the FTC has declined to comment on the issue.


Where Could This Go From Here?

If the antitrust case does happen and Google is found to have broken any laws the company will have two options, the first of which is to try to negotiate a settlement with the FTC to resolve the issues at hand. The other option would include a lengthy court battle. No matter which happens, it doesn’t appear that pleasant times are ahead for Google given that this is only one of the legal matters it is currently dealing with.

Do you think the FTC is going to move forward and file a lawsuit against Google? If this is the case, who do you think will come out on top?

Kristofer Wouk
Kristofer Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos. In his free time, he likes to make music, read and write short fiction.
  • MasterMuffin

    All these legal battles…

  • hobbyforum

    “While four of the commissioners involved seem certain that this is the case, the fourth is more skeptical.”

    • Kristofer Wouk

      Fixed. Thanks!

  • AndroidVesti

    If this passes into court then these FTC guys are crazy D:


  • Ugo Marceau

    How is this even in a court ? Google creates a search engine. It’s THEIR search engine and nobody else’s. They can bloody well show the results in whatever order they want. And it seems obvious that they would put their own products first in the results list. Why is it that when a company gets “too” big or “too” powerful they have to be taken down or slowed down ? Why can’t everybody just accept the fact that if they got so big in the first place, it’s because they are the best at what they do ? I really don’t understand this…

    • MarkoK

      The idea to maintain quality, compatibility and development of products demands that there are teamwork and alternatives of products and services.

      When someone gets dominant market position they can start slowing those down or even denying it. I am not saying that Google is doing anything wrong, because Google is innocent unless otherwise proven.

      Google’s problem is here now, that they take money from different companies to advertise them. What gets Microsoft and its partners and few other competitors attack against Google.

      If Google executives and workers has followed “Don’t do Evil” mantra, they don’t have nothing to worry. But sometimes even if executives are doing so, doesn’t mean low level workers does not. Causing problematic situations where whole company pays.

      Then there are totally different historical cases like United States vs. Microsoft where Microsoft was determined to have monopoly on PC markets and abused that (PC markets are part of personal computer markets, a PC is a personal computer using x86 CPU and compatibility to first PC ports) and former CEO Bill Gates actions were the condamming ones as he had done terrible things with even current CEO Steve Ballmer like blackmailing OEM’s etc.

  • Meh they should focus on Apple trying to punish everyone who enters the smart phone market.

  • spunker88

    I didn’t know Google was trying to sue their competition out of existence. Oh wait, thats Apple, maybe there should be an antitrust case against them. If I search for generic terms of services which Google offers but has competitors like email, maps, etc, Google’s service is first but I can see results linking to the competition.

    Maybe Google should apply for some vague patents for search engines. Apple patented slide to unlock which has existed before the iPhone, maybe Google could patent the Search button. Then they could sue their competition out of existence, which will keep the antitrust cases away, or at least it has for Apple.

  • mike

    Yeah , this is bullcrap!! can you believe that the Apple home page will not advertise Windows 8 prominently on their webpage?!?! it is an outrage of epic proportion!