It’s official: Google just filed a public notice acknowledging that its business practices are under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

“On June 23, 2011, Google Inc. received a subpoena and a notice of civil investigative demand from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) relating to a review by the FTC of Google’s business practices, including search and advertising,” reads the filing. “Google is cooperating with the FTC on this investigation.”

In a post on its official blog, the company says it recognizes that its success “has led to greater scrutiny.” The post adds, “It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.”

The post also lays out and explains the company’s core principles: Do what’s best for the user; Provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible; Label advertisements clearly; Be transparent; and Loyalty, not lock-in.

The investigation doesn’t necessarily mean the federal government will ultimately bring charges against the company.

The Wall Street Journal had reported yesterday that the FTC was preparing to launch the investigation, focusing on whether the search giant has unfairly used its dominance in the Internet search business to favor its own products over those from its rivals.

Google holds about 65 percent of the U.S. search market, compared to a combined 30 percent for Microsoft and Yahoo, according to the latest numbers from the comScore research firm.

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  • Peter Hamilton

    This is so ridiculous.  Why do people think that Google has to be fair.  The point of having market share is to promote your own products.  As much as I hate to, I’m rooting for the GOOG on this one.  

    • Shari Peterson

      I’m glad I don’t respect public-private partnerships (NSA is a partner of Google’s) enough to care. There’s nothing more corrupt and sick than a company that gives a prying government a key to the backdoor. :)


    Its about bloody time. Google is stepping over the line and someone needs to put these niche hoarders their place. The point of  market share involves the measure of business performance, not to promote your own products. Google’s going to get fried on this one! Rightly so.

    • Guest

      If you don’t want to see promotions for Google services, don’t google with Google.

      Simple as that. Nobody’s holding a gun to your head and forcing you to google with any particular google. Switch to Bing, Yahoo, or another google if your google results on Google aren’t meeting your expectations. Complaining about Google’s google results containing Google services is as asinine as is complaining about MSNBC’s advert breaks containing adverts for NBC shows and Microsoft products.

    • Shari Peterson

      You shouldn’t use it because of their NSA partnership!

  • Guest

    Best of luck to Google in surviving this government intrusion into its business. The U.S. government didn’t create Google so it has no right to destroy Google.

    • Shari Peterson

      Maybe Google shouldn’t have entered into that partnership with the NSA. You sleep with dogs…well you know the rest.

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