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GOP lawmaker: FTC, DOJ should examine Google

Rep. Todd Rokita in a vest with his arms crossed
Rep. Todd Rokita. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said in a Thursday letter to top antitrust regulators that the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department should probe Google's market dominance.

Why it matters: The FTC decided not to pursue an antitrust case against the search giant in 2013, a major win for the company. But since then, the climate has soured for major tech companies in Washington. "It is time for your agencies to reopen reviews of Google to ensure that its business practices comply with the law," said Rokita in a letter to FTC Chairman Joe Simons and top DOJ antitrust lawyer Makan Delrahim.

The details:

  • Rokita said that Google’s “market dominance creates an often-insurmountable barrier to entry for new innovators who could better serve consumers," specifically citing the company's power in search, mobile and online advertising.
  • He noted that Google is already facing antitrust actions in Europe, which has taken a harder line on competition issues.
  • DOJ declined to comment beyond saying it had received and was reviewing the letter.

Yes, but: A letter from a single lawmaker — who isn't in leadership — isn't likely to launch an antitrust investigation on its own.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the FTC decided not to move forward with a Google case in 2013, not 2012.