Traffic Temporarily Crashes Webcast Of FTC Announcement About Google Antitrust Probe

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Keen On… Piracy: How Online Ad Networks Are Supporting The Major Pirate Movie And Music Sites [TCTV]

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission just announced that its chairman Jon Leibowitz will make an announcement about the agency’s investigation of Google at 1pm ET/10am PT. Leibowitz will be joined at the press conference by Bureau of Competition Director Richard Feinstein and Deputy Director Pete Levitas, as well as Bureau of Economics Director Howard Shelansk.

[Update: Heavy traffic crashed the Knowledge Vision webcast of the announcement, temporarily locking out viewers.]

The FTC has been investigating Google for alleged anticompetitive conduct for almost two years now. In November, Bloomberg reported that the FTC was putting pressure on Google to settle the antitrust talks and there were some rumors in December that the FTC was indeed ready to settle with Google before the end of 2012. While the actual investigation took a bit longer, most pundits still expect the FTC to announce a settlement with Google today. What this settlement will look like, though, remains to be seen.

It’s worth noting that Google has settled with the FTC in the past, specifically regarding its practices when it came to bypassing privacy settings in Safari.

The FTC was investigating Google’s business practices and especially allegations that the company was using its dominant position in the search space to stifle competing services. The European Commission is currently running a similar investigation.

A live broadcast of the announcement will be available here shortly.