According to the Wall Street Journal the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may “start a wide-ranging, formal antitrust investigation into whether the search giant has abused its dominance on the Web.
This could mark the start of a lengthy legal process, similar to the years long battle Microsoft faced in the 1990’s resulting in 10 years of legal problems with both the US and EU regulators.
At issue is whether Google has used its dominant standing in search to improperly promote its products at the expense of its competitors and whether such conduct violated antitrust laws.
As a public company, Google would be required to disclose any investigative demand it receives from the government.
Google’s search market share is around 67% for desktop search and even higher for mobile search.
Of course all domainers have been frustrated by the lack of transparency from Google the implementation of “smart pricing” in which publishers revenue is deceased based on an undisclosed algorithm to an unknown extent while advertisers rates are also subject to change based on the same type of undisclosed formula.