Feeds

Google co-founders face FTC antitrust grilling

Page and Brin have lawyered-up, claim sources

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be quizzed by antitrust investigators at the US Federal Trade Commission, according to well-placed moles.

The web giant's CEO Page and special projects honcho Brin will be questioned in relation to the FTC's inquiry of the company's business practices, anonymous sources told Bloomberg. Google chairman Eric Schmidt gave his testimony behind closed doors to the regulator last week.

The news wire added that Page and Brin have hired a team of lawyers for their depositions with the FTC: the moneybags nerd duo have retained Williams & Connolly LLP - a Washington-based law firm that previously represented former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and current US President Barack Obama in non-litigation "transactional matters".

The legal outfit was also successful in representing Clinton in the first impeachment trial of a sitting president in over a century relating to the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In April this year, the FTC stepped up its antitrust scrutiny of Google by hiring well-known outside litigator and one-time Justice Department prosecutor Beth Wilkinson in a move that indicated the company's execs might end up in court.

It's understood, however, that Wilkinson won't be taking Page or Brin's testimonies, which could potentially be used as pre-trial evidence.

The FTC formally began probing allegations that Google favours its own search products over those of its rivals in June 2011. A similar but separate investigation into the world's largest web advertising broker's business practices has been underway in Brussels since November 2010.

In Europe, time is running out for Google. It has until early July to start playing ball with the EU's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who has expressed concerns about Google's "abuses of dominance" and has urged the search giant to offer up "remedies" to prevent "lengthy proceedings" being taken by the EC.

"I expect to receive from Google concrete signs of their willingness to explore this route," Almunia said on Friday.

Schmidt, when questioned by your correspondent last month, claimed his company was operating lawfully.

He said at the time: "We disagree that we are in violation. Until they are precise about what areas of the law we have violated, it will be very difficult for me to speculate." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?