The company engaged in anticompetitive behavior to maintain the dominance of its search engine, investigators at the
In the 2012 report, FTC staff recommended that an antitrust lawsuit be brought against Google, according the Journal's story, published Thursday. But FTC commissioners decided instead to close the investigation in early 2013. A lawsuit could have brought costly penalties.
The staff argued that Google demonstrated anticompetitive behavior in at least three areas: improving its search results by copying content from websites such as
Google also harmed companies such as Yelp and Orbitz by favoring its own shopping and travel services in search results, the FTC report said. This was the major issue in the investigation, but FTC staff wrote that bringing a case on this point would be difficult because Google could argue that its action led to a better interface for search-engine users.
The Journal acquired the report in response to a