The Japan Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing to formally advise Google to change its advertising practices, after an investigation found it imposed anti-competitive restrictions through a partnership with Yahoo Japan, now a subsidiary of Line, Kyodo News reported. 

Kyodo News noted Google submitted a plan to the watchdog to voluntarily change its practices related to a search advertising agreement with the unit. The search giant will not face a fine or punitive measures if the FTC approves its improvement plan.

The companies partnered in 2010, enabling Yahoo Japan to use Google’s search and distribution systems for keyword-targeted adverts, but Google soon demanded the partner stop providing search-linked adverts on third-party sites, forcing Yahoo to change its contracts, Kyodo News wrote.

A probe was commenced by the FTC in 2022, which found the move violated antitrust law by imposing unfair restrictions.

Google’s dominance in online advertising faces scrutiny in a number of countries.

In January, a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and eight states claimed the company monopolised the advertising technology market.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority started an investigation into Google’s advertising practices in 2022, accusing it of potentially distorting competition in favour of its own services.