Multiple sources are reporting that the U.S. Justice Department is preparing an investigation into whether or not Google has violated antitrust law. The search giant is no stranger to such allegations and was looked into by the FTC back in 2013, but things are spinning up again.
The search giant was fined a record $2.72 billion by European regulators in 2017 for abusing its dominance of the online search market. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission made an antitrust investigation of Google but closed it in 2013 without taking action.
Google was hit with another $1.7 billion fine as recently as March for monopolistic practices. As for the FTC investigation, reports suggest that commissioners failed to take action despite encouragement from staff.
The company made changes voluntarily when the FTC shut down its investigation, including letting advertisers use information from their Google ad campaigns to create campaigns with rivals.But an FTC staff report that was released years later showed that the agency staff had urged the presidentially-appointed commissioners to bring a lawsuit against Google. That never happened.