The news of the investigation by the FTC in business practices of search giant has been leaked a day before being made public. Now Rep. Darrell Issa calls for an investigation into the leak.
Google has solved a major victory last week when the Federal Trade Commission announced that, after an investigation of nearly two years in business practice, the giant Web company was acquitted of making major changes to its search product.
However, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform and Supervision, seems to believe that there was something suspicious about the announcement.
The official announcement was made on January 3rd, but news sources, including Bloomberg, Reuters, and politician, took control of the results of the day before it was to be made public. Technically, it is illegal for the commission to share the results of a probe, before being made public. Issa is now demanding an investigation into the leaks.
“Confidential Information on developments in the investigation was improperly shared with the media. It is believed that the Commission can contribute to, or is the source of this information,” Issa wrote in a letter to the FTC on January 3, which was obtained from Mashable. “This is worrying because the losses are prohibited by law and counterproductive to the investigative process.”
Issa said that “anonymous sources and anonymous” provided that the means of communication with the survey results. “To discover the source of the leaks, and the depth of the undisclosed information, ask your office an inquiry as soon as possible,” he wrote.
The 20-month probe into Google’s business practices focused mostly on how Google displays the results of research, which critics say has led to the company’s services from those of its competitors. The FTC also examined the decisions of Google technology licensing, which some claimed were anti-competitive. As part of the transaction, the search giant has agreed to voluntarily change the way it uses data from other websites.
Google still faces a separate investigation by European Union antitrust investigators. The investigation, opened in 2010, began after the rival companies claimed that Google was abusing its dominant position in the search. The European Commission said last week that the FTC settlement does not affect their decision-making.