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Monday, June 11, 2012

Google Under Investigation by FTC

The Google Inc. co-founders are slated for questioning by U.S. antitrust regulators and hired a top Washington law firm to help them prepare for their interviews, two people familiar with the matter said.

The Google executives retained Williams & Connolly LLP, the Washington law firm that has represented President Bill Clinton, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and the late Senator Edward Kennedy, as counsel for the depositions, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. They didn’t know when the interviews are scheduled to take place.

The Google Chairman was questioned by the FTC June 5, another person familiar with the matter said.

Plans for the depositions come as the Federal Trade Commission speeds up its antitrust probe of operator of the world’s most popular Internet search engine. The agency’s chairman, said June 6 that he expects to complete the investigation by the end of the year. The FTC will then decide whether to sue Google.

Google disclosed on June 24 that the FTC had begun a review of its business practices. The FTC is focusing on whether Google unfairly ranks search results to favor its own businesses and increases advertising rates for competitors, people familiar with the investigation have said.

Answer Questions

Google states that they are happy to explain our business to regulators and answer any questions they may have.

In April, the FTC hired a Washington litigator to run the antitrust investigation, signaling that the agency may be building a case against Google.

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