Feeds

Google co-founders face FTC antitrust grilling

Page and Brin have lawyered-up, claim sources

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.