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US Federal Trade Commission poised to launch Google antitrust probe

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is deciding whether to investigate Google on antitrust charges, according to reports from Bloomberg.

The FTC is awaiting a decision by the Justice Department on whether it will challenge Google's planned acquisition of ITA Software, which has been criticised as a threat to competition in the travel-information search market, said the newswire's sources.

Critics have alleged that Google has abused its dominance in online search by unfairly demoting rivals and promoting its own products in search results.

US senator Herb Kohl has already called for closer scrutiny of Google's business practices in response to claims by rival e-commerce websites they are being treated unfairly.

In November the European Commission launched an investigation into Google's business practices, following complaints from rival search engines. Google's rivals accused it of abusing its dominant position as a search service provider.

In a statement the commission said it had decided to open an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google has abused a dominant position in online search.


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