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US: Google’s antitrust woes could return back home

 |  December 3, 2014

Google has seen a tsunami of antitrust conflict in recent years. In the past few months alone the company has faced significant problems in the EU – just days ago the European Parliament voted to call on the European Commission to force Google to unbundle its search services from other products. Soon after, reports emerged that the company could face an entirely new competition probe over the company’s practice of having Android-operating phones come pre-loaded with Google products like Google Maps and Chrome. And that’s on top of the four-year-long competition investigation that continues with the Commission.

Back home in the US, however, things have quieted down since federal officials wrapped up their investigation into Google’s search practices without fines or significant sanctions.

That all may be about to change, however.

Reports have revealed that the Federal Trade Commission is probing complaints made by advertisers that Google is pressuring them to use Google’s ad-buying software DoubleClick Ad Exchange over competing products.

The ad display platform was acquired by Google in 2007 for $3.1 billion and allows advertisers to find openings for ad space offered by web publishers.

The company was soon expanded with Google’s acquisition of Invite Media’s ad management software for $81 million in 2009

Now, some advertisers say Google is pressuring them to use that software over others when they have open ad space.

Google has denied the allegations, and similar claims against the company have not convinced the FTC to take action.

While federal officials have highlighted the potential anticompetitive effects of such product tying, the agency has not brought a similar tying case against a corporation since 1994, according to antitrust expert David Balto.

Full content: Yahoo Finance

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