Google's Antitrust Dance with the FTC: Analysts Weigh In
Google might have been heading on a lenient path with the FTC’s antitrust investigation, but critics may be getting the agency to be more aggressive.Google seemed to be heading to a relatively painless antitrust decision from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in recent months, one that wouldn't have hit the search giant's search engine practices with a big stick. But that's been changing lately as critics have been letting the FTC know that a more serious approach should be considered, especially in light of harsher consequences and actions being taken by the European Union in connection with antitrust complaints there against Google. Such criticisms are the thrust of the FTC's about-face in how it was approaching Google, according to a Dec. 20 story from Politico. "European regulators appear headed toward a dramatically different conclusion to their antitrust probe of Google than their American counterparts—a binding agreement that could cost the search company dearly if violated," according to Politico. "That's one of several reasons why the expected Federal Trade Commission settlement that sources said was a done deal unraveled Tuesday." Neither agency "was ever expected to formally label Google a monopoly or a violator of antitrust laws, but all signs pointed to the FTC concluding its case with voluntary concessions while the EU would extract a binding agreement that could significantly alter how the search engine operates there," the story reported.