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Google competitors unhappy with the way their results are displayed on Google search pages will be able to opt out under an agreement announced today by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC announced the results of its lengthy investigation into Google's practices today and will require Google to make minor changes to resolve complaints by competitors and advertisers.
At the same time, the FTC found that Google's search results were not biased in favor of its own results in a way that was anti-competitive. Many of the practices condemned by Google's critics are used by
Separately, by a 4-1 vote, the commission ruled that Google will have to stop blocking the use of standard essential patents by competitors.
Google also agreed to remove restrictions on the use of AdWords, its search advertising platform, that make it harder for advertisers to coordinate their campaigns across multiple platforms.
Google and FTC Agree Settlement Over Antitrust [news.cnet.com]
The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday found that Google had not violated antitrust or anticompetition statutes...
The F.T.C. found that although Google sometimes favors its own products when producing search results with its ubiquitous search engine, its actions were “not undertaken without legitimate justification,” said Jon Leibowitz, the F.T.C. chairman.
Google agreed, however, to take certain actions to address what Mr. Leibowitz called “the most problematic business practices,” those that “relate to search in search advertising.”
Google is also promising that it will stop copying content from other websites to use in its summaries, even though the company had insisted the practice is legal under the fair-use provisions of US copyright law.
I hope this lights a fire under Microsoft's butt and they start innovating, starting with being more liberal with backlink information. They have a good search engine but need to work on getting people to embrace it. A backlink search is a start for getting webmaster love.
FTC found that Google's search results were not biased in favor of its own results in a way that was anti-competitive
Try search for "web browser". Chrome on page 1, Internet Explorer nowhere to be seent on the first 15 pages. Before the FTC conclusion, Chrome was set back but it seems someone at Google has manually set a "penalty" on IE and lifted the penalty on Chrome.