Sources for The Wall Street Journal have said that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission may subpoena Google in an antitrust investigation against the company. This move would follow other Google antitrust investigations in recent years, but previous investigations were mainly interested in Google’s mergers and acquisitions. The FTC’s new subpoenas will contribute to an investigation into whether Google has gained its web dominance fairly.
Google is responsible for about two-thirds of the U.S.’s internet searches, and the FTC is concerned that the company’s competitors may be unfairly denied traffic by Google’s business practices. The European Commission opened an investigation into the legality of Google’s practices in Europe, where the company’s dominance can account for more than 80% of the market. Monopolies are legal in the U.S.; the FTC’s concern is that Google is abusing its monopoly. Microsoft faced similar charges from the Justice Department in the 90s.