Google CEO met with FTC officials: Bloomberg

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:33pm EST

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc Chief Executive Larry Page met with officials from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in Washington on Tuesday, as the agency moves closer to completing an investigation of the Internet company's business practices, according to Bloomberg news, which cited an anonymous source.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and the head of Google's Washington office were spotted on Capitol Hill, according to the report.

Google rivals specializing in travel, shopping and entertainment have accused Google, the world's largest search engine, of unfairly giving their web sites low quality rankings in search results to steer Internet users away from their websites and toward Google products that provide similar services.

Reuters reported in October that four of the FTC commissioners have become convinced that Google illegally used its dominance of the search market to hurt its rivals, while one commissioner is skeptical.

Google declined to comment on the report of Page's meeting with the FTC, which began a probe of Google in 2011.

"We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have," Google spokeswoman Samantha Smith said in an emailed statement.

(Reporting By Alexei Oreskovic; editing by Carol Bishopric)