The Justice Department has begun meeting with companies that long have accused Google of illegally skewing its search results and are losing faith that the Federal Trade Commission will act forcefully on their complaints, said people familiar with the matter.
Senior officials from the Justice Department, which shares responsibilities with the FTC for policing allegations of monopolistic behavior, have met with at least two companies in recent weeks, said these people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.
This has come amid reports that the FTC may resolve its nearly 2-year-old investigation of Google without dealing directly with complaints that the company uses its power over the search market to gain an edge over rivals.
Those familiar with the meetings with Justice officials say they were of a preliminary nature and it was not clear if they would lead to any action. Justice considered launching an antitrust investigation before the FTC claimed the case last year.