FTC's investigation into Google likely pushed into 2013, sources say

Google has been on the FTC's radar for quite some time now, with the agency looking into multiple areas of the company. One of the investigations concerns Google's search practices, with claims that it is unfairly skewing search results in its favor to the detriment of its competition. The FTC has been looking into the matter, with reports surfacing not too long ago that it would be settling the issue with Google by the end of the year. Originally, the matter was to be settled by the end of the month, but now it looks like that may get pushed into early 2013.

The agency met a lot of criticism over the settlement, with many claiming that Google was getting out of the issue with a mere slap on the wrist. Two unnamed individuals close to the matter are reported to have said that two FTC commissioners requested additional time to mull over penalties in response to the criticism. It was reported that the FTC had planned to accept a letter from Google promising that it would change its search practices.

Google's competitors who have claimed to have been hurt by the search engine giant's practices expressed extreme displeasure at the FTC's decision to accept a written assurance from Google. Now, the extended time frame during which the agency will consider penalties it may apply to Google will likely fall during the first two weeks of January.

This investigation is in addition to others that are examining whether the search engine giant has run afoul in other areas, including patents. Thus far, Google's comment on the matter echoes its typical statement for these issues: that it will keep working with the FTC. The agency, meanwhile, declined to offer a comment on the situation.

[via New York Times]