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FTC investigators said to recommend antitrust suit against Google

An internal FTC draft memo reportedly recommends suing Google for abusing its dominance of Internet search.

October 12, 2012|Bloomberg News

Federal Trade Commission investigators are circulating an internal draft memo that recommends suing Google Inc. for abusing its dominance of Internet search in violation of antitrust laws, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The more than 100-page memo has been distributed to the agency's five commissioners, who will decide whether to sue, two of the people said. A majority of commissioners, including FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, have expressed concerns internally about Google's practices and are deciding how to proceed, two of the people said.

The three people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Four of the five commissioners believe that a case should be brought, Reuters reported.

The memo sums up the findings of the FTC's 19-month investigation into whether Google's business practices stifle competition. The Mountain View, Calif., company and its rivals are starting to meet individually with commissioners to make their cases before a final vote on whether to pursue the lawsuit, two of the people said.

FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan declined to comment on the draft memo. Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman, didn't immediately comment.

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