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US FTC sets Thursday briefing on Google antitrust investigation

The agency will talk about its investigation during a press conference Thursday

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will host a press conference Thursday afternoon to discussion its investigation of Google for antitrust violations.

The FTC press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and staff members will speak.

The FTC began investigating Google for antitrust violations in its search and advertising businesses in mid-2011. The agency reportedly has looked into Google's relationship with Android handset makers and whether Google favors its own services in search results.

In December 2011, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, asked the FTC to look into whether Google listed its products and services first in search results.

Google competitors, including Microsoft, Oracle and other members of the FairSearch.org coalition, have accused Google of search "discrimination" by manipulating search results. Google has also used its dominance to force competitors out of the search marketplace, the group has said.

Google has said little on the record about the investigation, other than saying it is cooperating with the FTC.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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Tags advertisingJon LeibowitzU.S. Federal Trade CommissionantitrustHerb KohlregulationinternetFairSearch.orgOraclesearch enginesMike LeeGoogleMicrosoftlegalgovernment

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