FTC Recommends Antitrust Suit Against Google

FTC Recommends Antitrust Suit Against Google

posted Saturday Oct 13, 2012 by Scott Ertz

FTC Recommends Antitrust Suit Against Google

When the Federal Trade Commission started its antitrust investigation into Google, I don't think there was anyone in the industry that didn't make the immediate decision that the case was inevitable. If they did, they are not aware of the general policies of Google and their tendency to steal others' content and brand it as their own and to promote their own services through their search engine despite relevance.

As an example, Google search shows results on the right column from Google+, whereas Bing shows results from other social networks like Facebook, as well as relevant journalists, not just results from their so.cl service.

All of that being said, the FTC has started to answer the unasked question by circulating a memo throughout the organization. It turns out the FTC investigators are recommending a lawsuit to their commissioners against Google for exactly those reasons. In fact, Yelp representatives have testified to the FTC over these issues as their content was one of the first major issues raised that is bringing this case to a head. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said last year,

We believe Google has acted anti-competitively in at least two key ways: by misusing Yelp review content in their competing Places product and by favoring their own competing Places product in search results.

Apparently the FTC agrees with you, Jeremy, and we can likely see a case filed against the company within the next few months. So far Google's interactions with the FTC have not worked out for Google, with a $25,000 StreetView fine, as well as a $22.5 million fine for circumventing Safari's privacy settings. If you are a fan of Google, you will probably hope this case goes differently for them. If you dislike Google, you will probably enjoy the beat-down that I predict the FTC will be dishing out in the next 12-16 months.

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