Legal Troubles

Lookout, GOOG: The FTC Just Hired a Famous Litigator to Help Investigate

No lawsuit yet, but it's clearly serious.
wilkinson b w Lookout, GOOG: The FTC Just Hired a Famous Litigator to Help Investigate

Ms. Wilkinson. (www.paulweiss.com)

Well, it doesn’t look like Google’s antitrust investigation is disappearing any time soon. The FTC hasn’t decided whether to bring a lawsuit, but the agency is bringing in a famous litigator to help run things. Reuters reports that former federal prosecutor and courtroom badass Beth Wilkinson will join the investigation Monday. She is perhaps best known for helping send Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to death row.

Now, the FTC does not want anyone assuming that this guarantees a lawsuit. Richard Feinstein, who is the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, told the AP that they are simply “delighted to have someone of her caliber helping us on such an important matter.” But former FTC official David Wales was more colorful:

“This may not be a declaration of all-out war, but it’s like things have been ratcheted up to ‘Defcon 4,’” said Wales, now a partner at the law firm of Jones Day. “You don’t do something like this unless you think there is a good chance there will be litigation.”

Reuters also points out that the last two times the agency did this, lawsuits have been the eventual result.

Let’s just say there’s probably a reason the search goliath is spending all that money on lobbying.

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