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Google gets fortnight deadline to avoid US antitrust case

12 Nov 2012
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Jonathan Leibowitz has given Google a fortnight to avoid an full-blown antitrust investigation, according to reports.

Bloomberg said the FTC will file an antitrust case against Google if a settlement is not reached within in the next two weeks. The report claimed the search giant has yet to propose any settlement.

"We continue to work co-operatively with the FTC and are happy to answer any questions they may have," a Google representative told V3.

FTC officials are looking into whether Google is using its dominant position in the web search market to drive consumers to its services. The group's investigation into Google began in June 2011.

Google hasn't yet been officially accused of any wrongdoing as the FTCs investigation is only exploratory.

According to reports, FTC's investigators have urged the FTC to issue a complaint against Google. Investigators are alleging that the company ranks its own services higher than its competitors in Google searches. 

The FTC investigators also reportedly accused Google of making it difficult for online publishers to compare search results from competing search engines by making them sign exclusive search agreements.

Earlier this year, FTC chairman Leibowitz said he expected the investigation into Google to wrap up before the end of the year.

In a related case, the FTC is reportedly considering filing a suit against Google alleging that the company has violated antitrust laws by trying to ban the sale of products infringing on Motorola Mobility patents.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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