House Republican urges regulators to probe Google for antitrust violations

House Republican urges regulators to probe Google for antitrust violations
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A House Republican is joining a growing group of lawmakers, most of them Democrats, who are calling for regulators to crack down on Google’s market dominance.

Rep. Todd RokitaTheodore (Todd) Edward RokitaIndiana attorney general loses reelection bid after groping allegations Bottom Line Lobbying world MORE (R-Ind.) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice asking the agencies to probe whether the internet giant is suppressing competition through its data-collection and search practices.

“These market conditions are in part what prompted European regulators to take action against Google,” Rokita wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Axios. “It is time for your agencies to reopen reviews of Google to ensure that its business practices comply with the law.”

A spokesman for the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said he had received the letter and is reviewing it.

Last year, the European Union issued a record $2.7 billion antitrust fine against Google for elevating its own comparison shopping service over rivals’ in its search results. European regulators also have two other ongoing antitrust investigations into the company.

The FTC closed a similar probe into Google in 2012 without imposing any fines. Rokita noted Thursday that the company has grown significantly since the last investigation, securing even more control over the internet search and advertising markets.

“It is clear that Google has vast insight and influence into American consumers' internet activities,” he wrote.”This market dominance creates an often-insurmountable barrier to entry for new innovators who could better serve consumers.”