Shortly after Microsoft filed a formal complaint with the European Union with regard to Google's inordinate share of the search market there, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is reportedly contemplating its own antitrust probe of the company's search practices.
MarketWatch reported Tuesday the FTC is waiting to see if the U.S. Department of Justice will challenge Google's proposed acquisition of ITA Software before launching its own broader investigation into search practices. Google's page rankings and whether the company "plays favorites" when awarding those rankings are of particular concern to regulators. If it happens, the broader inquiry here will "largely mirror" the EU effort.
Boston University Law Professor Keith Hylton told Bloomberg an investigation into Google's search practices "could be on par" with the antitrust litigation Microsoft faced in the 1990s. Though Google could fight, the fight would be long and expensive, he said.
The Texas Attorney General's office launched its own antitrust investigation of Google last fall.