According to the report, any potential case would likely hinge on a prior investigation by the Federal Trade Commission that was closed in 2013. The FTC commissioners declined to bring charges against Google, which offered to make changes to its search practices tied to advertising.
But big technology has been under increasing scrutiny over the last year for privacy, bias and other issues, ramping up concerns over whether certain companies are becoming far too influential in politics, commerce and other matters.
If the Justice Department decides to move forward on a formal investigation, it will mark the first anti-trust case against big tech during the Trump administration. The FTC has been forwarding complaints on Google to the Justice Department, according to the WSJ report. Any potential action could also affect other businesses like Facebook, Amazon and Apple, all of which have come under increased scrutiny over their practices and policies.
Justice Department spokesman Jeremy Edwards declined to comment, as did representatives for Google and the F.T.C.