By Anne Steele

The U.S. Justice Department is probing Omnicom Group Inc. in its investigation of possible contract pricing manipulation among ad agencies, the company revealed Friday.

The advertising and marketing-services holding company said two of its subsidiaries received subpoenas Wednesday. Omnicom said its outside legal counsel has contacted representatives of the antitrust division and it is cooperating with the investigation.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department is investigating whether advertising agencies inappropriately steered business producing commercials to their in-house production units over independent companies by rigging the bidding process for those contracts.

Rebecca Meiklejohn, a government antitrust attorney based in New York, has been interviewing ad-industry executives on the subject over the past few months, according to people familiar with the matter.

So far, Interpublic Group of Cos. has said one of its stand-alone U.S. advertising agencies has been contacted by the Justice Department's antitrust division "for documents regarding video production practices" and added that it is cooperating with the government.

Write to Anne Steele at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 16, 2016 08:13 ET (13:13 GMT)

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