Google Faces Ultimatum from FTC in Antitrust Probe

Google Faces Ultimatum from FTC in Antitrust Probe
Image: Google

Google is being pressed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to resolve the agency's antitrust probe in the next few days or face a lawsuit.

For almost 20 months, the FTC has been probing whether Google is abusing its dominance of the Internet, and it's prepared to sue if the operator of the world's largest search engine fails to make an acceptable proposal.

FTC investigators are looking into the fact that Google ranks its own services higher than those of competitors, has exclusive agreements to provide search services to online publishers and makes it difficult for advertisers to compare data about campaigns running on rival sites by Yahoo and Bing.

Google has been in discussions with the FTC for about two weeks and hasn't put any remedy proposals on the table. The FTC has told Google it won't accept a resolution short of a consent decree and is prepared to take action in the next week or two.

Specifics about what elements an FTC complaint would contain and whether it would include provisions about Google's practices on search rankings are still under discussion within the agency.