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Reports: Google could soon face antitrust suit from FTC

02 Nov 2012

Google will soon be facing legal action from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) according to multiple media reports.

Bloomberg and Reuters cited unnamed sources within the commission in reporting that FTC staff have recommended a suit against the company over its handling of intellectual property dealings with rival vendors.

According to the reports, the FTC believes that Google violated antitrust laws by asking courts to block the sale of products that the company claimed infringed on patents held by Motorola Mobility.

The FTC has yet to provide any official statement on the matter.

Earlier this year, the FTC kicked off an investigation of Google after the company requested that products from Apple and Microsoft be blocked from import for violation of its intellectual property.

Google is no stranger to intellectual property disputes. Earlier this year the company emerged victorious in a high-profile patent and intellectual property case against Oracle over the use of certain Java patents in Android.

The Android platform is also at the centre of a number of legal actions around the globe. Apple in particular has aggressively pursued Android handset and tablet vendors who, it believes, have violated its patents.

Like Google, Apple has asked courts to approve import bans on the devices it claims violate its patents. Thus far the outcome has been mixed, with both Apple and Android hardware vendors winning judgments in various parts of the world.

Google is also facing scrutiny from the FTC in a separate case over its practices in the search market.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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