/// How the FTC Could Address Its Concerns About Google Without a Lawsuit
It looks like the Federal Trade Commission is coming after Google with a wide-ranging antitrust complaint about its business practices, and will do it before the end of this year. That’s the lead of a Reuters report that moved Friday , citing unnamed sources familiar with the agency’s plans. The story doesn’t identify which four of the commission’s five members have concluded, after a year of investigation, that Google used its overwhelming command of the Internet search market to hurt rivals in the travel, shopping and entertainment sectors, and to benefit itself. They’re also concerned about Google’s handling of certain patents related to smartphones. Meanwhile, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz, pictured from his June appearance at D: All Things Digital , has said he wants to see a decision by the commission before the end of the year. If the FTC brings the case, Google has two fundamental courses of action: Settle or fight. If it settles, the result will be a negotiated order that applies to Google, and Google only. The same will happen at the end of a lawsuit, assuming the FTC wins, which isn’t exactly certain. There is another course of action the FTC could take, and has been known to take before: Issue guidelines.
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