Federal regulators may be planning on taking Google to court over whether that company promotes search results that favor its business. The Federal Trade Commission has hired a prominent trial lawyer to oversee its investigation. Beth Wilkinson, a former Federal prosecutor and now a partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who is known for winning the death sentence against Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and is a former General counsel of Fannie Mae (FNMA) from 2006 to 2008 will start work on Monday.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said on Thursday that his agency has not yet decided whether or not to bring a suit against Google. However, the hiring of a prominent outside trial lawyer signals that the FTC may be leaning in that direction. Wilkinson, 49, has never lost a case according to the National Law Journal.
“It will be a great challenge,” Ms. Wilkinson said in an interview. “I don’t underestimate Google.”
Reuters is reporting that the last two times the FTC hired outside counsel, it aggressively went after the firms being probed.
Google had disclosed in June of last year that the FTC had opened a broad antitrust investigation of its business practices.