Google Faces FTC Antitrust Probe

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GoogleLogoJust as Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) battle with European Union regulators has died down, the United States may bring antitrust charges against the company. According to Reuters:

U.S. regulators are in the early stages of an antitrust probe into whether Google Inc, the top player in Web display advertising, breaks antitrust law in how it handles some advertising sales, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

The source said that it was unlikely that the Federal Trade Commission had sent out civil investigative demands in relation to the probe, which would be the sign of a formal and more serious investigation.

The new line of inquiry focuses on tools acquired when Google bought display ad company DoubleClick in 2007; other firms which specialize in helping Web publishers sell ads to put on their websites are complaining to the FTC, the source said.

Google shares are down fractionally in premarket trading to $880.55, in a 52-week range of $556.52 to $920.60.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Internet, Media, Regulation Tagged: GOOG
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