Google to settle U.S. FTC antitrust probe, sources say

“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 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 blogpost published today.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

Related articles:
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011


  1. Steve jobs sure did one thing with his war, he put a spotlight on just how incredibly inept our legal system is. We have judges who refuse to judge, agencies who refuse to act and patents that cannot be enforced.

    1. I have to disagree about enforcing patents. This country seems to accept patents that are so general and non specific that they have TONS of prior art yet when Apple gets specific on a new way of doing things, well THOSE patents must be disallowed…

      Patent trolls should have a high proof barrier to win a patent lawsuit while solid defined patents should be supported.

      Its really not that hard to do, just read the patent and see if its patenting “moving “information” over wired or wireless or transdimensionally areas” (LOL) or actually a working idea of how to make a concept happen (using a sensing switch bonded to a layer of glass and computer monitored by algorithm to determine desired input. ”

      Just a rational thought to start the new year..


  2. Now that Google managed to place one of their paid minions, Joshua Wright, as commissioner of the FTC they’ve bought a lot of free reign to do as they please. Expect more anticompetitive moves and privacy intrusions in the future.

    He might say he’ll excuse himself from Google cases for 2 years but that leaves only 4 other commissioners, so votes can now tie. Plus I’m sure he’ll give an earful of how “regulation is bad, especially for Internet advertising giants” to anyone who listens, he’s a published author on the topic after all..

  3. What do you expect?

    Google spent over $13M on lobbying in 2012. Microsoft only spent $5M and Apple only spent $1M. What result would you have expected given that Google spent over 10x what Apple did?

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