Google does not violate anti-trust laws, says FTC

By Daniel S Levine,

Search engine giant Google has dominated the web, which has concerned its competitors and other critics, who have attacked the site for directing users to its services and trying to keep visitors from using outside services. Despite these complaints, the Federal Trade Commission completed its 19-month investigation into Google’s practices and found that it does not violate anti-trust laws.

According to The Associated Press, the FTC agreed unanimously that Google hasn’t violated any of the anti-trust regulations because there wasn’t any evidence to support the concerns.

“Although some evidence suggested that Google was trying to eliminate competition, Google's primary reason for changing the look and feel of its search results to highlight its own products was to improve the user experience," FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said Thursday.

Still, Google didn’t get away with all of its practices. Reuters reports that the company agreed to stop “scraping,” a practice in which Google uses reviews and data from rival sites on its own without giving credit.

PCMag notes that the FTC also investigated Google’s use of Motorola “essential” patents, ruling that Google has to start licensing them on a fairer basis. That ruling comes after Microsoft complained that Motorola’s licensing fees were too high.

“Google's unfair conduct threatened laptop and tablet computers and smart phone and gaming systems or it could have increased the cost of these products by requiring manufacturers to pay higher licensing fees which then would have been passed on to consumers,” Leibowitz said.



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