Sgt_Kickaxe - 9:23 am on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)
Let me explain why the ruling was flawed in a nutshell.
The F.T.C. found that users were not harmed by changes Google made to search results but they used Google's thinking instead of doing their own. example: when flight data from a newly acquired Google company began to dominate search results outside testing showed that this is what people wanted to see. The F.T.C. took that outside testing verbatim as meaning people really did want to see Google products ahead of natural results.
The problem: Google is not a content site!
Sure the outside evaluators liked seeing more content but they weren't rating a SEARCH page at that point, they were rating a CONTENT page and Google is not a content provider, they "borrow" content from everywhere.
Did it hurt anyone? Absolutely, every business who lost traffic from search RANKINGS felt it on their bottom line, while Google's bottom line improved. The F.T.C. should NOT have used content evaluations in determining the value of a search results page, they flubbed the task, bigtime.
I don't think Europe will make the same mistake.