updated 02:03 pm EST, Tue November 13, 2012
Google hit with ultimatum: settle or face lawsuit
The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly pressuring search giant Google to resolve the issues in the agency's antitrust probe within the next few days or face a lawsuit. The FTC is concerned that Google is abusing its position as the world's dominant search engine, using its position to place its own services above those of competitors. The agency has reportedly been in negotiations with Google for some weeks now, and an antitrust lawsuit is a real possibility should Google prove unwilling or unable to make an acceptable proposal to the FTC.
The agency, which has been investigating Google for almost 20 months according to Bloomberg, is still considering what elements an official FTC complaint would contain. Investigators have been looking into how Google goes about ranking its search results, hoping to see whether the search company is unfairly ranking its own services above others. The agency is also looking into whether Google is unfairly using the patents it holds on smartphone technologies to keep competitors from bringing devices to market.
Reportedly, the onus for resolving the antitrust issues now rests with Google. Sources close to the dealings have not revealed exactly what actions Google could take to assuage the agency. Reportedly, though, the FTC seeks a final, binding agreement between the two parties that would curtail a number of the activities that trouble the agency.
Spokespersons for Google have said that the company continues to work cooperatively with the FTC and is willing to answer any further questions agency may have.