Last week Google and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached an agreement to settle pesky issues that has come up from Google’s practice. At the core of the FTC’s investigation are Google’s ad services and how search results are prioritized. While the FTC felt the concessions made by Google were sufficient to prevent any further intervention, many competitors and Internet users were left confused as to how quickly the case was resolved; a mere slap on the wrist.
The latest issue stems from chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Republican Representative Darrel Issa’s questioning of the numerous leaks resulting from this case.
The FTC Act has strict restrictions on nonpublic information is released to the public and media. Darrell Issa wrote, “Moreover, information that may be disclosed must be ‘for attribution and on the record.’ Unfortunately, unnamed and anonymous sources have provided the media with nonpublic developments in the investigation of Google.”
Throughout the duration of the investigation numerous leaks have hinted on the FTC’s actions. Whether true or false, the apparent lack of confidentiality is troubling for an agency that is responsible for investing practices of companies. No word on a timeline for this investigation, but hopefully this case doesn’t result in leaks. Oh the irony.