Google May Face FTC Antitrust Inquiry on Advertising Business

By on May 24, 2013

In an article published on Bloomberg, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may initiate an antitrust probe into Google’s display advertisement business.  The FTC is currently examining whether Google took advantage of its dominant position in this market to “illegally curb competition.” The investigators cited in the article also want to determine whether Google used its display ads business to “push companies to use more of its other services.”

The FTC investigation will focus on a line of advertisement products acquired when Google purchased display ad company DoubleClick in 2007.  Google’s competitors have complained that Google’s 80% market share allows it to divert customers to other ad products.

Canada’s Competition Bureau announced last week that it will begin a formal investigation into Google’s search practices. The European Union is also looking into the way Google operates the search business.  Antitrust regulators in Argentina and South Korea are also criticizing the search giant.

Shares of Google have been under pressure this week.  Google stock has fallen $36 per share, or 4%.