Google Announces FTC Subpoenas for Anti-Trust Probe

June 25, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015
The Google logo at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google announced that the FTC had informed the company that it was beginning an investigation into its services. (Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images)
The Google logo at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google announced that the FTC had informed the company that it was beginning an investigation into its services. (Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images)

Google announced today on its official blog that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans to launch an official anti-trust probe into Google’s business practices, especially in relation to its search engine.

The post states that “yesterday, we received formal notification from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it has begun a review of our business. We respect the FTC’s process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services.”

Google claims that it is “unclear [on] exactly what the FTC’s concerns are”, however, rumors have circulated that companies like Microsoft and Expedia have complained that Google unfairly prioritizes its own services in the search queries of its massively popular search engine.

Other concerns relate to Google’s perceived ability to control which companies can or cannot survive in a market by manipulating its also-popular advertising systems.

Google claims “We aim to provide relevant answers as quickly as possible—and our product innovation and engineering talent have delivered results that users seem to like, in a world where the competition is only one click away.” Google alludes to the rumors of the complaints, acknowledging that, “Still, we recognize that our success has led to greater scrutiny.

Google’s post primarily points out the features and developmental goals of its search engine and the algorithms on which it functions. The post claims that their work is based on doing what is best for the user, being transparent, and creating a customer base through loyalty instead of lock-in.

“Using Google is a choice—and there are lots of other choices available to you for getting information: other general-interest search engines, specialized search engines, direct navigation to websites, mobile applications, social networks, and more,” said the post.