The FTC announced that it has hired an outside litigator to take charge of an antitrust investigation of Google. The hiring of Beth Wilkinson, a former Justice Department prosecutor who played a lead role in the conviction of the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, shows that the agency has moved beyond the preliminary stage of its inquiry and was preparing to go to court.
“In an important case, you want to do a thorough investigation,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
Google formally denied obstructing a government investigation into a privacy breach but agreed to pay a fine of $25,000 anyway. Initial investigations showed that while Google denied it was collecting substantive digital data with Street View cars with the cameras, it was revealed that they were also collecting Wi-Fi location data and unencrypted Internet communications.