Google Inc. (GOOG)’s dominance of the Internet-search industry is being considered for a broad antitrust investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, two people familiar with the matter said.
Before proceeding with any probe, the FTC is awaiting a decision by the Justice Department on whether it will challenge Google’s planned acquisition of ITA Software Inc. as a threat to competition in the travel-information search business, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still confidential.
Incredibill, I think they mean a threat to other businesses they overrun with their properties abusing their dominance. Google Places, Maps, Merchant, Universal Search, travel coming up, etc. Bing, yahoo! are non-players as they don't have any dominance. If Google's properties were on page 2, there would never be any anti-trust issues. They are right at the top now; therefore Google is being anti-competitive as the dominant search engine.
It should. Even if they were found in violation of anti-trust laws what would the DOJ or whoever be able to do about it? It doesn't seem like they could do much to affect Google now. It would be kinda hard to break up a search engine into two separate companies. They could start paying attention to acquisitions though and force Google to compete by building companies instead of buying them.
Google might not be quite as dominant as some of those companies but they are close in the B2B realm (aka for online advertisers). The consumer can definitely just hop over to Bing or Yahoo.