According to the report, in 2013, the tech giant was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that enforces laws against monopolies and other anticompetitive business practices, but this time the FTC will defer to the DOJ, sources told the Journal.
In that 2013 report, the FTC found that "any negative impact on actual or potential competitors was incidental to that purpose."
"While some of Google's rivals may have lost sales due to an improvement in Google's product, these types of adverse effects on particular competitors from vigorous rivalry are a common byproduct of 'competition on the merits' and the competitive process that the law encourages," the report stated, noting that Google's "primary goal in introducing this content was to quickly answer, and better satisfy, its users' search queries by providing directly relevant information."
Washington's not the only government investigating Google's business practices, either. The European Union recently fined the tech giant $5 billion, asserting it used its dominant position in the app market to push Google Search on its competitors, and India's Competition Commission opened an investigation earlier this month on antitrust grounds.
Italy's competition watchdog, the Competition Authority, also opened a probe this month into Google's alleged abuse of its dominant market position.
Google is nominally owned by a holding company called Alphabet, Inc., formed during corporate restructuring in 2015.