updated 08:30 pm EDT, Thu May 23, 2013
2007 acquisition of advertising company DoubleClick at core of complaint
According to sources discovered by both Reuters and Bloomberg, US regulators are looking into the possibility of a new antitrust probe against Google. This new action would investigate complaints that the search engine breaks laws in how it markets and sells some advertising across the Internet.
The new inquiry allegedly involves tools that Google is using after it acquired display ad company DoubleClick. Other firms with the same services as the absorbed display ad company are reportedly complaining to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that Google is using its position as the leading search engine to influence purchasers and hurt competing businesses. Additionally, Google is using the sale of banner ads to push purchasers into using more of its other services, which is a practice illegal under antitrust laws.
The sources say that the (FTC) has not sent out civil investigative demands yet, which would be the bellwether of an investigation actually in progress. Google and the FTC have not commented on the matter. Google currently owns 47 percent of the US Internet advertising market.