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Google trebles its force of lobbyists ahead of FTC probe

Chocolate Factory insists it has 'a strong story to tell'

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Google now has 18 lobbying firms on its books, after it hired 12 more companies late last week to help fight a recent antitrust investigation kicked off by the US Federal Trade Commission.

A Mountain View spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday that it had "a strong story to tell about our business" and said Google had "sought the best talent we can find to help tell it."

Last week, the world's largest ad broker began to strengthen its legal department in response to the investigation by the FTC with the hire of ex-state prosecutor Jeffrey Blattner, who helped run the Department of Justice case against Microsoft.

The anti-competitive probe is expected to be a lengthy process, so Google's decision to arm itself with more lobbyists is hardly a surprising move.

An antitrust investigation was formally opened by the FTC late last month. It is investigating Google's search and advertising practices.

Google insists that it respects the US regulator's process but at the same time claims its search and ad practices will stand up to scrutiny. ®

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