US Senator asks FTC to probe Google’s practices amidst growing push in Washington

On the heels of President Trumps calling of Google’s search results being “rigged” and “biased” on Tuesday morning, the momentum of a call for the Federal Trade Commission to re-open their investigation into Google and their search result practices has been gaining steam.

Trump in his strongly worded statements on Tuesday said, “Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”

Following this US Senator Orrin Hatch, on Thursday added to the growing call for Google to be looked into. Hatch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons recounting several news reports that identified complaints about Google’s anti-competitive conduct and privacy practices.

Hatch who is no stranger to Google’s alleged practices, at event hosted by reviews website and Google rival Yelp Inc in May, said moves made by “an entrenched monopolist” deserve extra skepticism.

“They may well be used, not to further consumer welfare, but to foreclose competitors,” he said, according to prepared remarks.

Yelp, a local-search service, said in a statement that Hatch’s letter was “heartening to see” as it underscored the bipartisan plea for FTC scrutiny of Google.

From the other side of the aisle, Representative Keith Ellison, a Democrat, sent a letter earlier this year asking Joseph Simon and the FTC to probe Google as well.

Simon, the new Republican chairman of the FTC, said in July the agency would keep a close eye on big tech companies that dominate the internet.

Google’s stock was little changed today.