Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may face charges of anticompetitive practices brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week, shortly before Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt embarks on a humanitarian mission to North Korea, reports said.
Various Washington sources reported FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz may file charges against the Mountain View, Calif., company as early as Friday, when an FTC commissioner retires and a new one, confirmed on Tuesday, is sworn in to replace him.
In August, Google paid a record fine of $22.5 million for violating privacy of users of the Safari browser from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as the FTC as well as the European Commission said they were investigating other practices of the search engine company, which now ships smartphones as well as the Nexus tablet.
Schmidt, meanwhile, may visit North Korea on a humanitarian mission organized by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the Associated Press reported. Google didn’t provide additional information. Schmidt plans to publish a book about digital information and freedom in the first quarter.
Shares of Google rose $15.87 to $723.25 in Wednesday trading.