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FTC nominee to recuse self from Google cases, report says

Joshua Wright, a commission nominee who is considered a Google ally, will reportedly tell a Senate committee that he would not vote on Google cases for two years.

Joshua Wright
Joshua Wright George Mason Law School

Joshua Wright, a Federal Trade Commission nominee who is considered a Google ally, will reportedly vow to recuse himself from any cases involving the search giant for two years if his nomination is approved.

Wright, a law professor at George Mason University and the Obama administration's nominee to fill a Republican place on the FTC to replace retiring J. Thomas Rosch, is expected to make a statement to that effect during his confirmation hearing on the Senate Commerce Committee tomorrow, two sources told political site Politico.

Wright, who has already faced scrutiny for accepting academic research funds -- albeit indirectly -- from the search giant, has written research papers that have been used in Google's defense during the U.S. government's current antitrust probe into allegations that the company "cooked" search results to favor its own products and services over rivals.

A recusal from Google cases would help Wright avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

His nomination hearing comes as European and U.S. officials are set to meet to discuss their two separate investigations into the search giant for alleged anti-competitive behavior.

Google faces a fine of up to 10 percent of its global annual turnover -- about $4 billion -- should it be found to be in violation of European antitrust laws.