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FTC Said to Expand Antitrust Probe to Add Google+ Service

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expanding its antitrust probe of Google Inc., the world’s most popular search engine, to include scrutiny of its new Google+ social networking service, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The competition issues raised by Google+ go to the heart of the FTC’s investigation into whether the company is giving preference to its own services in search results and whether that practice violates antitrust laws, said the people, who declined to be identified because the probe isn’t public.