Thursday’s meeting came two days after the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, and as coalitions of state attorneys general are weighing whether to bring their own complaints against the search giant. Facebook — with more than 2.2 billion users worldwide — ranks second behind Google in claiming a share of revenue from the online advertising market.
Attorneys general from multiple states are also pursuing antitrust probes against Facebook, though it is unclear whether they would be able to join the FTC’s case if the agency files one.
The FTC investigative process involves teams of antitrust attorneys, economists and litigators who can each make their own recommendation to the agency’s commissioners on whether to pursue a case. Attorneys from the agency’s Bureau of Competition marshal documents and witness interviews, while staff in the Bureau of Economics analyze economic theories and models to determine whether they have enough evidence