"Google Said to Be Possible Target of U.S. FTC Antitrust Probe" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article that begins, "Google Inc.'s dominance of the Internet-search industry is being considered for a broad antitrust investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, two people familiar with the matter said."
The people "spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still confidential."
This is really something. It'd be one thing if a court found Google guilty of an antitrust violation. It's a second thing if the government files formal antitrust charges against Google in court. It's a third thing if the government is investigating Google. But Bloomberg hangs an entire news article on a fourth thing: the government is considering investigating Google.
Also something is the news service's willingness to grant anonymity on the basis of this claim that "the matter is still confidential." Well, it's no longer confidential now that the anonymous sources have spilled the beans about it and it is the subject of a Bloomberg News article.
And the confidential nature of the sources makes it much more difficult for a reader to evaluate their trustworthiness. Are they Google competitors hoping to nurse such an investigation into a business advantage of their own? Are they government officials using their power inappropriately to cloud the reputation of a company, without giving the company the due process right to confront the accuser and respond in court? Are they members of Congress or Congressional aides with who knows what financial interest in Google or in its competitors? Are they lobbyists for Google itself, trying somehow to get out ahead of bad news by sounding an alarm about the threat of an investigation?
Disclosure: I own some shares of Google.