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The US Federal Trade Commission is alerting high-tech companies to gather data in preparation for a probe of Google Inc.’s dominance of the Internet search industry, three people familiar with the matter said.
The agency told the companies that it plans to issue so- called civil investigative demands for the information, said the people, who requested anonymity because the FTC hasn’t made the matter public. The demands are similar to subpoenas.
The FTC, which has been considering a broad investigation, waited until the Justice Department concluded its own review of Mountain View, California-based Google’s acquisition of ITA Software Inc., two people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.
Read more: [smh.com.au ]
U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, the Wisconsin Democrat who heads a Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, has said he will examine Google’s business practices. Senator Mike Lee of Utah, the panel’s senior Republican, has called for hearings.
The EU probe is examining whether Google discriminated against other services in search results and stopped websites from accepting rival ads. A complaint from Microsoft last month may expand the investigation to online video and mobile phones.
Google is facing growing scrutiny from regulators as it bolsters its search business. Officials in Texas and the European Commission have started investigations into Google’s search dominance, while Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is considering such a probe.