“Google Inc. will resolve a 20-month antitrust probe by U.S. regulators tomorrow with a voluntary agreement and a consent decree on the company’s alleged misuse of patents, three people familiar with the matter said,” Sara Forden reports for Bloomberg. “The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is poised to announce that Google has agreed to voluntarily change some business practices and settle allegations it misused patents to thwart competitors in smartphone technology, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t public.”

“The FTC is expected to close its investigation into whether Google, operator of the world’s most popular search engine, skews its search results to favor its own services without enforcement action, the people said,” Forden reports. “The FTC’s decision not to take action is a blow to competitors including Microsoft Corp., Yelp Inc. and Expedia Inc. and comes at a time when the European Union is seeking a ‘detailed commitment’ on search to end its probe into allegations that Google discriminates against rivals.”

Forden reports, “The expected FTC decision was drawing criticism from Google opponents, including the FairSearch.org coalition, an alliance that includes Microsoft and Expedia. ‘If the FTC fails to take decisive action to end Google’s anti-competitive practices, and locks itself out of any remedies to Google’s conduct that are offered in Europe later this month, the FTC will have acted prematurely and failed in its mission of protecting America’s consumers,’ according to a FairSearch.org blogpost published today.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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