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FTC probes whether Google hiked Microsoft ad costs 50X

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Wed September 21, 2011

Microsoft claims Google multiplied ad costs by 50

Microsoft complaints against Google have led the FTC to launch an investigation into Google's practices, says an unnamed person as he's not authorized to comment publicly. Google allegedly illegally raised Microsoft's advertising rates by a factor of 50, AdAge reported. Other allegations against Google regarding advertising will also be looked into and are part of a larger antitrust Google probe.

Google may be in violation of the Sherman Act and other antitrust laws. A spokesperson for Google said ad rates are partially determined by how close the ad is to a user's search.

Another Microsoft representative, Jack Evans, claimed Google "shouldn't be permitted to pursue practices that restrict others from innovating and offering competitive alternatives," as it's doing now.

Back in 2007, Microsoft complained that Google raised the rate for a Windows Live ad, a search engine that competed directly with Google's. It went to $5 per mouse click from just 10 cents.

Two price comparison sites, and Foundem, are also Google competitors and sued Google over a similar practice in an Ohio court case and a European Union complaint, respectively. Judge John Bessey in Columbus dismissed the former case in August, however.

Microsoft is also said to be complaining that Google pressured advertisers into contracts that would make it hard to also advertise with Yahoo or Bing, the source claims. Comparing numbers of clicks between Google and other sites was also made technologically difficult, Microsoft said.

Advertising made up $28.2 billion, or 96 percent, of Google's annual revenue in 2010. It controls 59 percent of the US online search advertising market.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. global.philosopher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Google sound more like MS everyday.

    Assuming that these accusations are true then it reminds me a lot of the types of practices MS used from about 1980 to ...well now really.

    I have no sympathy for MS. Let's face it, MS and Google are two peas in the same pod. I do have an issue with Google's "Don't be Evil" mantra and the way the geekoid gumby's believe it. At least we know MS is evil. Google need to look in the mirror and say to themselves...who are we kidding...we are just as evil as the next multi-billion dollar company so lets just get on with it.

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