The US Justice Department is reportedly setting up an investigation into Google to examine if its businesses have breached antitrust laws.
The Wall Street Journal reported the department’s antitrust division has been laying the groundwork for the investigation in recent weeks. The work follows after an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), whose remit also covers antitrust, to give the Justice Department jurisdiction over Google.
Google and the DOJ declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal story.
The European Union has already handed Google three fines for anticompetitive practices concerning its Android operating system, shopping search results and advertising. However the US antitrust officials have been less heavy handed with the company.
For example a 2013 FTC investigation into Google closed without taking any action, however the company voluntarily made changes to some of its practices.
More recently pressure has been ramping up with Republican and Democratic politicians have urging the FTC to take action towards big tech in response to antitrust and privacy concerns. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has called for the break up of the country’s biggest tech companies.