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Google competition probe will be done by year end: trade agency

     
2:22 pm on Sep 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The Federal Trade Commission is moving expeditiously to decide if Google used its search clout to harm competitors and expects to complete its investigation by the end of the year, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said on Wednesday.

In a speech at Georgetown University's law school, Leibowitz said the agency was weighing evidence to decide if Google, the world's largest search engine, manipulated its search results to steer users to its new businesses, like travel search, which could be in violation of the law. Leibowitz later said that he expected a decision by the end of the year.
[ca.reuters.com...]
3:12 pm on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So many sectors that Google is shutting out the competition, killing website rankings, etc, all for their own benefit (although, Google's script claims it's about "quality"). Another example not listed in the article is the financial sector. Google is now doing car insurance, and of course loans/credit cards, etc. This partially explains why Google wants to show junk, like press releases, in the financial sector instead of legitimate and established websites. I have to wonder what morale is like among the engineers who go to work each morning knowing that they now program the algorithm to benefit the company's bottom line, and the wonderful search engine that Google once was has been reduced to what it is today. Meanwhile, Bing's search share continues to rise.
11:38 pm on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Why rush...

Hopefully there will be enough legitimate web businesses left alive by the time this probe is concluded...

Highway robbery in broad day light...to say the least. I just hope someone is taking screen shoots..and lots of them.

from the article: "We are happy to explain our business to regulators and answer any questions they may have," Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich said in an emailed statement.

You guys will have your day in court and tons of explaining to do, very soon... not to worry.
1:13 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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And IF they are found guilty (which is unlikely because of the brib... I mean, lobbying) then the most that will happen is that google will payoff... I mean, 'settle' with the FTC.

Everyone knows that big business shouldn't face the same penalties as small. They are our 'betters' and therefore should not be subjected to the penalties, fines and imprisonment the rest of us face.
6:36 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I can't tell you how many times I was steered into, and avoided, Google plus.

Travel - guilty
Hotels - guilty
Insurance - guilty

It's trickling downwards at an accelerated pace, nothing is safe from being more than just *ranked* by Google anymore.

You needn't look much further that the recent quarterly report in which Google enjoyed a MASSIVE increase(30%+) in earnings from their affiliate efforts when many(most?) webmasters began living a Panda and Penguin induced nightmare.

You have to call it like you see it. My concern is that the investigators are sure they will be finished by x date even before cracking open the files, it stinks of a pre determined decision ya know? Either way, I hope this resolves the issue one way or another so that we can all continue to create websites without fear of Google assimilating the content instead of just ranking it.
3:33 pm on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have to wonder what morale is like among the engineers who go to work each morning knowing that they now program the algorithm to benefit the company's bottom line, and the wonderful search engine that Google once was has been reduced to what it is today.


I have heard morale is pretty bad, but not for that exact reason, per se. Search is having some MAJOR internal problems.

Things are very bad in the trenches, a significant number of people are looking to jump ship....or so goes the rumor around the campfire.

Take what I just said as a wild, unsubstantiated rumor, as I cannot validate my comments for obvious reasons.
3:51 pm on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The way they phrase this sure sounds like two companies expecting to reach a settlement number, not a regulatory agency expecting to decide whether or not to recommend to the DoJ that they pursue an anti-trust suit.

It also sounds like they're waiting to see who wins the election before they decide if Google's done bad stuff or not.
3:57 pm on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well it might be a good time for the Facebook headhunters to start looking if Facebook is serious about building a search engine capability.

Regards...jmcc
2:01 am on Sept 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It might also be a good time to consider your vote in November carefully given Obamas stance on redistributing wealth, he may have companies like Google on his radar at this point. It certainly feels like political options are being kept open, time will tell.
 

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