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Sen. Blumenthal: FTC Should Investigate Google

Cites record EC fine against company alleging it favors own content

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said Tuesday the evidence is mounting that Google is using its search dominance to favor its own content online. 

That came in the wake of the European Commission finding that the company favored Google Shopping over other comparison shopping competitors. The commission also has ongoing investigations into Google's Android platform and AdSense.

“This significant action by European regulators is the latest in a powerful collection of evidence suggesting Google has repeatedly and consistently abused international competition law,” said Blumenthal in a statement. “Here in the United States, the FTC must confront the mounting evidence that Google is manipulating search results in anticompetitive ways and possibly running afoul of our antitrust laws. The FTC has a duty to investigate and discipline Google for any illegal actions that may have unfairly disadvantaged competitors and limited consumer choice. Our economy—particularly when it comes to the rapidly growing tech sector—needs robust competition to thrive and to ensure consumer protection.” 

As he pointed out Tuesday, Blumenthal has been pushing the FTC to reopen its 2013 probe into Google's alleged anticompetitive practices.

The Federal Trade Commission closed an investigation into Google search in 2013, concluding that based on the evidence presented, "Google’s display of its own content could plausibly be viewed as an improvement in the overall quality of Google’s search product. Similarly, we have not found sufficient evidence that Google manipulates its search algorithms to unfairly disadvantage vertical websites that compete with Google-owned vertical properties.