The US Federal Trade Commission has signalled it means business in its proceedings against Google for antitrust violations. For the first time in five years, the agency has hired an outside litigator to lead the prosecution. No, it’s not Harvey Birdman.
The FTC announced today that it has hired Beth Wilkinson — the lead US prosecutor in the OK City Bombing case against Timothy McVeigh — to take over the Google investigation. “In an important case, you want to do a thorough investigation,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.
While Leibowitz did refer to Wilkinson as “a world-class litigator”, that does not automatically mean that she’ll get to do any actual litigating. The FTC has been investigating the search giant’s many programs — including its search result rankings, Search Plus Your World, and advertising rates — for over a year and still has yet to publicly comment whether or not it will actually file suit. [NYTimes]