Feature: Blogging Google

FTC Investigation into Google Dropped

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: January 04, 2013 at 5:35 am

google and FTCGoogle have long been in the cross hairs of regulators around the world, with rivals accusing them of anti-competitive practices in areas such as data freedom, patent abuse and unfair behavior in the promotion of Google+.

This has seen the company under investigation by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the EU.

Whilst the EU investigation continues, the FTC felt happy enough to conclude its investigations into Google this week.  In a statement they announced the end of their investigation, revealing that Google had not been manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

Google have made a voluntary agreement to provide advertisers greater access to their own campaign information.

It has also agreed to charge "fair and reasonable" rates to companies that wish to use the patents acquired as part of its purchase of Motorola Mobility last year.

The ruling applies to standard essential patents, which are classed as ones that are critical to industry standards, for instance the technology that allows devices such as smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet over wi-fi.

Google have also agreed not to force companies using these patents without a rate yet agreed to remove products containing the technology from the market.

Suffice to say that many are not happy with the apparent leniency of the ruling.

Fairsearch, an organization representing several of Google's critics such as Microsoft, said in a statement: "The FTC's decision to close its investigation with only voluntary commitments from Google is disappointing and premature, coming just weeks before the company is expected to make a formal and detailed proposal to resolve the four abuses of dominance identified by the European Commission, first among them biased display of its own properties in search results."

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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