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FTC Staff Reportedly Wanted To Bring Antitrust Case Against Google

FTC HQ Consumer Privacy FTC HQ, Washington DC

Courtesy: MediaPost

Some staff at the Federal Trade Commission wanted to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Google in 2012, according to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reported on Thursday that FTC staff found evidence that Google leveraged its dominance in search to harm other companies. The Journal said it obtained a portion of an FTC staff report after the agency mistakenly released it in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

FTC reportedly wanted to sue over three alleged practices by Google, including taking content from Yelp, TripAdvisor and Amazon. The search giant allegedly did so in order to boost its own sites. The FTC staff report also reveals that Google estimated its market share as between 69% and 84% during the investigation.

In January of 2013 the FTC closed its investigation into Google without bringing an enforcement action. But former chairman Jon Leibowitz said at the time that Google had taken steps to alleviate concern over “troubling allegations” that it misappropriated rivals’ content.

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