Google, FTC Settle Antitrust Spat Without Any Fines
January 3, 2013 12:57 PM
Google agrees to modifications to its patent lawsuit strategy, how it handles online data
nearly two years
of investigation, the
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
probe into internet and mobile services giant
Google Inc. (
) is about to wrap up, and
that a settlement has been reached which will protect Google against possible fines.
I. Google Says it Will Change Its Ways
Importantly Google agreed to undisclosed changes in how it uses patents for mobile standards, which are licensed under so-called "
fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory
" (FRAND) rules. Most of Google's FRAND patents came courtesy of
subsidiary Motorola Mobility
, which Google
acquired for $12.5B USD
in a denial finalized in Feb. 2012.
Google had hoped to use Motorola patents to defend its Android partners against Apple, Inc.'s (
) and Microsoft Corp.'s (
aggressive litigation tactics
, but those efforts
proved largely unsuccessful
came under fire
when it became clear that much of Motorola's portfolio were FRAND patents, which come with obligatory licensing demands.
Among its promises, Google promises to be be more respectful of others data when web scraping. [Image Source: Google Images/unknown]
The search giant also reportedly agreed to modify other undisclosed business practices; practices that may include making modifications to make Google's search engine less prone to favoring its own internal services. Google had balked at the idea of letting federal regulators lay their hands on its core search engine code, and ultimately regulators at the FTC appeared to respect Google's concerns, in lieu of its promised concessions.
Reportedly, Google will also modify its so-called "scraping" tactics -- the process of sending scripts to automatically mine data from various internet sites and services, some of which compete with Google. Another promised modification, according to
is to make it easier for companies to export advertising data from Google's industry-leading advertising platform for use on smaller competitors' platforms.
II. Rivals Complain Settlement is Too Weak
The changes may indeed significantly shift Google's approaches in the mobile and internet spaces, remedying much of the things competitors complained about (if Google follows through). But competitors are reportedly not happy with the settlement.
Internet services firms like Microsoft, Yelp, Inc. (
), and Expedia, Inc. (
hoping the FTC would fine Google
. They were also hoping that the watchdog agency would personally supervise Google's efforts to make the changes, rather than agree to a settlement which affords Google greater flexibility to perform the modifications on its own pace and terms.
Expedia and others are upset at the FTC for letting Google off so easy.
[Image Source: Getty Images]
In a letter to the FTC posted in the
coalition's blog yesterday, the group
, "If the FTC fails to take decisive action to end Google’s anti-competitive practices, and locks itself out of any remedies to Google’s conduct that are offered in Europe later this month, the FTC will have acted prematurely and failed in its mission of protecting America’s consumers."
represents Microsoft, Expedia, and other smaller service firms.
In a post on
Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel Dave Heiner
Google continues to prevent Microsoft from offering consumers a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone.
Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.
In the European Union, a similar antitrust probe into allegations of elicit tactics is wrapping up. The EU has reportedly given Google
a final chance to settle
. If the search giant is lucky it may be able to wrap up that dispute in the same manner as it did the U.S. one -- without painful fines or strict government oversight.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
FTC Frustrates Google With Delay in Antitrust Probe Ruling
December 19, 2012, 11:04 AM
ITC Judge Smacks Down Google in Patent Suit Against Apple
December 19, 2012, 10:06 AM
Google Completes Acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Layoffs Likely
May 22, 2012, 11:47 AM
Google Gets "Last Chance" to Settle With EU on Antitrust Abuses
May 21, 2012, 2:50 PM
FTC Pulls Apple Into Google Antitrust Probe With Subpoena
March 14, 2012, 4:10 PM
Google plans ultra-fast wireless Internet for Research Triangle Park, N.C.
August 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Most Popular Articles
Sales Battle - Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab
November 29, 2016, 12:36 AM
Phillips 55’ 4K Smart TV – Is This Really a Deal? We Think So.
November 25, 2016, 9:44 AM
PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K Console for 4K TVs
November 28, 2016, 1:00 AM
Lenovo Yoga 900 and Lenovo Yogo 900S – Powerful Performance in an Ultra-Thin Packages
November 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Best Phones of 2016 - Priced under $650.00
November 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Smallest Device Lets You Print Almost from Anywhere
Nov 16, 2016, 9:32 AM
Cancer Screening in the Community Is there a link between Cancer and Poverty?
Nov 15, 2016, 8:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information