Republican Senator Asks FTC to Examine Google Ads

August 30, 2018 Updated: August 30, 2018

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Aug. 30 asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine the potential antitrust developments in Google’s search and digital advertising.

Hatch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons he was concerned about the practices of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., citing a number of antitrust complaints and reports since the agency’s last investigation in 2013.

Alphabet shares changed little after the news.

President Donald Trump accused Google’s search engine on Aug. 28 of promoting negative news articles and hiding “fair media” coverage of him.

Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, later said the White House was “taking a look” at Google, saying the administration would do “some investigation and some analysis,” without providing further details.

Earlier this summer, Simons, the new Republican chairman of the FTC, said the agency would keep a close eye on big tech companies that dominate the internet. In a previous investigation, the FTC decided that Google was likely justified in developing a search function that harmed other companies.

An FTC representative was not immediately available for comment.

By Doina Chiacu and Lisa Lambert.