Report: FTC to grill Google's Schmidt


The FTC is investigating whether Google unfairly manipulates its search formula to ensure that its own services, such as YouTube, Google Maps and Google Plus, appear at the top of the results. 

Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich declined to comment on whether Schmidt will speak with FTC investigators, but he said in a statement that Google does not engage in any unfair business practices.

"Google has never faced more competition than it does today, and while we’re happy to discuss any concerns the FTC might have, we think everyone can agree that regulating search results would be bad for consumers,” he said.

Peter Kaplan, an FTC spokesman, declined to comment.

The FTC hired a prominent litigator, Beth A. Wilkinson, last month to help with its investigation of Google. Wilkinson presented the closing argument that resulted in the death penalty Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and is now a partner in private practice.

It is just the third time in the last decade the FTC has brought on an outside lawyer to help with a case. 

A sweeping antitrust suit against Google could be devastating for the company.

The Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft in the early part of the last decade drained the company of resources and led some of its most talented employees to leave.