Google’s dominance of Internet search advertising is expected to be challenged by U.S. antitrust enforcers.
The Federal Trade Commission may be on the verge of issuing subpoenas to Google as it initiates a long-anticipated antitrust investigation against the company.
The FTC declined to comment and Google did not respond to a request for a response. According to The Wall Street Journal, however, the government agency is within days of issuing formal demands to Google for information about the company’s online advertising business.
Google has faced few regulatory inquiries in the past. The FTC approved its acquisition of display ad firm DoubleClick in 2007 and looked into the relationship between Apple and Google in 2009, before Google’s then CEO Eric Schmidt left Apple’s board of directors.
The Justice Department is said to be reviewing Google’s plan to acquire Admeld. The DoJ has also been involved in reviewing Google’s proposed book scanning lawsuit settlement, dissuading Google from consummating an ad deal with Yahoo, and forcing Google and other tech companies to abandon their pact not to hire each other’s employees. The DoJ also recently approved Google’s acquisition of ITA Software under specific conditions.