Google addresses FTC investigation into its business practices

Google officially announced on Friday that it received word on Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission will begin reviewing its business. Google said that “it’s still unclear what the FTC’s concerns are,” but early reports have suggested the complaints involve the Internet giant’s search and online advertising businesses. Google said that it will continue to follow its five pillars: “do what’s best for the user,” “provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible,” “label advertisements clearly,” “be transparent,” and “loyalty, not lock-in.” “These are the principles that guide us, and we know they’ll stand up to scrutiny. We’re committed to giving you choices, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, fostering an Internet that benefits us all,” Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow, wrote on the company blog Friday. There are, however, some groups that are concerned Google is becoming a monopoly. Read on for more background.

This morning we reported on an article from The Wall Street Journal, in which Fairsearch.org, a watchdog group, said “Google engages in anti-competitive behavior…that harms consumers by restricting the ability of other companies to compete to put the best products and services in front of Internet users, who should be allowed to pick winners and losers online not Google.” The group, whose customers include Expedia, Kayak, Sabre Holdings, and Microsoft, is worried that Google will point users to its own services using its own advertisements, instead of directing them to offers from competing firms. Google said that it will work with the Federal Trade Commission’s process to discuss its services and practices.

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