The FTC Has Hired An Antitrust Shark For A Potential Knock-Down, Drag-Out With Google

Richard Gilbert stanford law schoolGilbert at an IP law conference at Stanford Law School in April 2012.

Photo: YouTube via StanfordLawSchool

An antitrust fight between the Federal Trade Commission and Google may be on the horizon.The FTC has hired itself a well known economist to help with its investigation into whether Google is stifling competition, Politico has reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

That economist, Richard Gilbert, a University of California, Berkeley,  professor, is an antitrust veteran.

The former highest-ranking economist in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division was involved in the famous “United States vs. Microsoft” antitrust case and the failed merger between EchoStar and DirecTV, Politico has noted. 

The hiring of an outside consultant such as Gilbert could help the case’s credibility if the FTC chooses to take Google to court, former FTC chairman Bill Kovacic told Politico.

Gilbert’s hiring follows probes into Google’s business practices.

FTC investigators have been tasked with deciding whether Google has been ranking search results to boost its own ventures and charging others higher rates for advertising. 

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