Google apologized for the image, but won't remove it.
The Federal Trade Commission is recommending that the government sue Google for antitrust violations, according to a report.
The FTC has been investigating the tech titan for several years, but has finally created a 100-page staff recommendation to pursue a lawsuit, according to the New York Times. The complaint revolves around allegations that Google manipulates its search results to benefit itself and hurt its competition. The commission is also reportedly building its legal team to take on Google.
“We are happy to answer any questions that regulators have about our business," Google said in a statement to the Times..
Although a staff recommendation to sue Google for antitrust violations seems damning, it doesn't necessarily mean the FTC will go ahead. Three out of the five commissioners must vote to do so -- and it's probably likely that Google will settle before that happens. Google also faces antitrust investigations in Europe.
Google's success and expansion has caused many tech companies to cry foul, including Microsoft -- which itself faced an antitrust case in the 1990s. Google maintains that it is doing business ethically.
It's odd that Google can be sued for giving consumers a service that neglects its competition. There are other search engines out there, but it's precisely because of its success that it's the most targeted. If only Google had been less popular, this case probably wouldn't have gotten as far as it has.