Business

FTC’s Google antitrust decision pushed to 2013

We were expecting the Federal Trade Commission to announce its final decision on its antitrust investigation into Google this week, but now it looks like that won’t happen until next year, reports Bloomberg.

The FTC has been looking into Google’s search business for the past 20 months for anti-competitive behavior. Earlier this week, we also heard that Google was planning to change its business practices, including no longer copying data from “rivals” like Yelp, and allowing customers to compare Google ad campaign data with other sites.

Additionally, the FTC was also readying a consent decree that would make it more difficult for Google to ban competitor products over patents that it already decided to license on reasonable terms, Bloomberg reports.

The moves by Google and the FTC could resolve the antitrust investigation without an actual settlement — something that’s obviously sparking concern among search competitors. Fairsearch.org, a consortium of Google competitors, including Microsoft, sent the following statement to Bloomberg:

Questions about Google’s search bias and other anti- competitive practices will not end if the FTC fails to take legally binding action to protect consumers and innovators in the U.S., where the market conditions and law are different than the EU.


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