Business, Economics and Jobs

Google doesn't favor its own services in search results, FTC rules


At the time of writing, Chrome did not appear until page six of Google search results for "browser."

The Federal Trade Commission has ended its nearly two-year-long investigation of Google — and many are complaining that the agency has let Google off too easily.

In an announcement today, the FTC says that in a settlement, Google has agreed to license certain patents to its mobile phone rivals, among other changes. 

The changes that Google has been asked to make by the FTC are very minor, and this settlement actually does little to address allegations made by consumer groups that Google has been favoring its own services in search results, the Washington Post reported.

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It's not just consumer groups who are angry. Google's rival Microsoft has urged regulators for years to crack down on Google's allegedly unfair search results. Because the FTC settlement does not force Google to make any major changes, Microsoft says it's merely a slap on the wrist, the Los Angeles Times reported

US antitrust regulators disagree, adding that they found no evidence that Google unfairly favors its own services in search results, the Associated Press reported.

Even so, the decision wasn't unanimous. FTC Commissioner Thomas Rosch dissented from some of the commission's actions, the Wall Street Journal reported. In his dissent, he wrote: "After promising an elephant more than a year ago, the Commission instead has brought forth a couple of mice."