Google May Be Hit With Antitrust Probe

FTC awaiting Justice Department move

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 5, 2011 2:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Google could soon be the target of a federal antitrust probe. Officials with the Federal Trade Commission will hold off on a decision until after the Justice Department determines whether or not it will attempt to block Google’s planned acquisition of ITA Software Inc., sources tell Bloomberg. That purchase has been challenged by rivals as a threat to competition in the travel search business. If the FTC launches a probe, Google "could fight, but that's going to cost a lot of time and money," said an antitrust law professor.

FTC Commissioner Thomas Rosch said last month he supports a probe of the leading players in the Internet-search industry, and Google is the biggest player. Probes have already been launched or are being considered in various states as well as by the European Commission. A Google spokesman said that competition is a "click away" on consumers' computers, and that Google dominates the market not because it illegally controls the market, but because it provides the "best, most relevant answers to queries."

FILE- In This March 23, 2010 file photo, the Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. Microsoft Corp. on Thursday, March 31, 2011, threw its weight behind an existing probe by European...   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
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