Sun, Apr 29, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Regulators eye Google in Argentina, South Korea

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Google’s online search and advertising services are under scrutiny by regulators in Argentina and South Korea, the company has confirmed.

Word of the probes came a day after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed it hired former Justice Department prosecutor Beth Wilkinson to head an investigation into whether Google abused its dominance in online search.

“We are delighted to have someone of her caliber helping us on such an important matter for the Commission,” FTC bureau of competition director Richard Feinstein said.

The Mountain View, California-based company confirmed the FTC inquiry in a blog post at the time and expressed confidence it could withstand the scrutiny.

A line in Google’s most recent quarterly report stated that Argentina’s National Commission for the Defense of Competition and South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission have opened investigations “into certain business practices.”

The inquiry focused on Google in South Korea started last year, the company said, adding that it continues to cooperate with regulators there.

“The Argentinian Competition Commission notified us that they are conducting a preliminary inquiry into our search and search advertising services, and we are of course happy to answer their questions,” Google said.

“Because competition on the Internet is just one click away and since using Google is a choice, we work hard to put our users’ interests first.”

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