Heave a sigh of relief Google. You have been cleared. In a statement by the FTC, it was announced that Google was NOT manipulating its search engine so as to get Google’s own sites at an advantage.
Google although has made a voluntary agreement that competitor’s will have much more access to their own information. It was also agreed that Google will be ‘fair and reasonable’ when other competitors will access Motorola Mobility’s (Google owned) patents. These patents are considered very important to the smartphone industry such as the patent for Internet over wifi. If Google was charging exorbitant prices for these patents in the past, it was very wrong of Google to do so. It would have led to decreased innovation, and the FTC is right in legally binding Google to be fair and reasonable.
Although all is not well with the competitors who wanted the investigation results to go the other way. Fairprice, an organization which represents many of Google’s critics such as Microsoft, Yelp, Expedia said the below in a statement.
“The FTC’s decision to close its investigation with only voluntary commitments from Google is disappointing and premature, coming just weeks before the company is expected to make a formal and detailed proposal to resolve the four abuses of dominance identified by the European Commission, first among them biased display of its own properties in search results.”
Reacting to the decision Google’s Chief Legal officer David Drummond said “The US Federal Trade Commission today announced it has closed its investigation into Google after an exhaustive 19-month review that covered millions of pages of documents and involved many hours of testimony. “The conclusion is clear: Google’s services are good for users and good for competition.”
FTC might have cleared Google, but Google has to submit an answer to the EU where a parallel investigation is being conducted. Officials from EU have reviewed the decision from FTC and have said that the decision will not have an effect on the EU investigation.