Alphabet Inc’s Google is said to be under the investigation of the US Department of Justice, DoJ, for antitrust/ anti-competition practices.
People with the knowledge of the matter claimed that the investigation is looking into whether Google broke the law in operating is several online businesses.
The DoJ has refused to comment on the matter due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.
This is not the first time Google will be probed by the US, its home country.
In 2013, the US Federal Trade Commission closed a long investigation into Google, however ordering Google to tinker with its policies and practices that favour its products ahead of its competi1tors. Part of terms was for Google to end reviews of its products, allow advertisers export campaign results and other terms.
However, in recent times, Google has come under serious scrutiny worldwide.
In Europe, the company has paid several billions of dollars in fines over allegations that it favours its own products such as YouTube, Maps, Reviews and advertisements ahead of its competitors in its Google Search results, The EU anti-competition agency was very specific in its findings by concluding that Google manipulates its own search algorithm (software or code) powering its Google Search results to get high ranking at the expense of other companies.
Reuters quoted the TripAdvisor chief executive and co-founder Stephen Kaufer who said the investigation into Google was a welcomed idea. TripAdvisor is a travel booking classified site that is one of the largest in the world and competitor to Google.
“TripAdvisor remains concerned about Google’s practices in the United States, the EU and throughout the world,”
“For the good of consumers and competition on the internet, we welcome any renewed interest by U.S. regulators into Google’s anticompetitive behavior,” he said.
Google has not commented on the matter and it could be making official statements soon.
Some US Senators have in the past called for the break up of Google to prevent its sheer size stifle its competitors. Senator Elizabeth Warren of the Democratic Party was on the frontline on this suggestion. It is not clear if she and some other senators would use the latest investigation to push for their demands.