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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials are reportedly thinking of dropping their antitrust case against Google, Bloomberg reports.
The FTC reportedly plans to drop the case because it doesn't have the evidence needed to prove that the way Google ranks its search results is hurting consumers.
News of the FTC's possible decision comes following recent reports saying that the FTC was pleading with Google to arrive at a settlement.
According to Bloomberg, the FTC has enough evidence to prove that Google ranks its services higher than those of its competitors. However, the FTC is reportedly unable to prove that Google's "vertical searches" actually hurt consumers.
All they had to do is survey a good chunk of web publishers...
Regulators are also looking at whether the ranking system’s benefits to consumers outweigh any harm suffered by rivals including NexTag Inc. and Kayak Software Corp... The FTC also is treating seriously complaints that Google has used customer reviews from other websites without permission
...members of the tech industry including Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Nextag CEO Jeff Katz, testified Wednesday at a hearing held by a U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee that probed Google's search practices.
During the hearing, titled "The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?”, Katz asserted that Google "doesn't play fair," while Senator Mike Lee maintained that Google "cooked" its search results so that its own listings were "always third,"
It's because the FTC does not have a legal leg to stand on.
[edited by: mhansen at 1:53 pm (utc) on Nov 23, 2012]
"In the interest of providing more regulatory certainty for American consumers and job creators, we urge the Federal Trade Commission to act with humility and restrain itself to activities for which it has clear legal authority," the senators wrote.
In addition to DeMint, the letter was signed by GOP Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Orrin Hatch (Utah), John Thune (N.D.), John Cornyn (Texas), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Pat Toomey (Penn.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).
DeMint, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, is in line to become the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee in the next Congress. The panel has jurisdiction over the FTC.
The government can't stop google anyway, that is a market decision and also to a larger degree the willingness of marketers and publishers to consent to google rule. When consent ($) are stripped by those who feed the beast, google will be another alta vista.
Google isn't about indexing the web
You are suggesting kryptonite lite.
They couldn't care less about the organic SERPs.
Bottom line... the little guys are well and truly stuffed.
Are you serious?
The little guys may yet end up "stuffed" but the stuffing isn't done just yet.