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Google Faces FTC Ultimatum

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is stepping up pressure on Google to change their ways or face a big-time anti-trust complaint.

According to a number of published reports, the two sides have been negotiating concessions from Google, but things aren’t moving fast enough for the Feds. Most sources say that a formal anti-trust complaint from the FTC could come within a couple days if negotiations fail.

At the heart of the complaint are allegations that Google favored its own services in rankings and engaged in other anti-competitive practices. The investigation has been ongoing for more than 20 months, though negotiations just started two weeks ago.

For their part, Google executives are cooperating with the FTC and are projecting an upbeat message. “We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have,” Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich told Bloomberg this week.

Despite the number of CAP readers who would happily testify against Google, anti-trust complaints are extremely difficult to prove and can take years to work out. That gives both sides a real incentive to come up with a deal before the FTC’s self-imposed deadline takes effect.

Do you think an anti-trust complaint against Google is warranted? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.