Google, FTC Settle Antitrust Spat Without Any Fines
January 3, 2013 12:57 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Regarding the YouTube app
1/4/2013 4:02:12 PM
You really ought to learn how to search API's.
You already have access to both search and metadata as well as the ability to monitor things like subscriptions in 2.0. The 3.0 API is getting opened up even further and allow you to request snippets or check your monetization/analytics.
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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
Report: New UK Broadband Users Give Porn Filters the Shaft
July 23, 2014, 11:49 AM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Aereo Now Claims It's a Cable Company, Reveals it Has Very Few Customers
July 22, 2014, 4:20 PM
Edward Snowden Presents Tech to Stop Government Spying
July 21, 2014, 12:00 PM
Verizon FiOS Network Upgrade Brings Symmetrical Upload/Download Speeds
July 21, 2014, 8:33 AM
Amazon Launches First Fire Phone TV Spot, Spends 30 Seconds Promoting Prime
July 18, 2014, 11:17 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Kills Entertainment Unit, May Shelve Flagship Lumia "McLaren"
July 18, 2014, 7:40 PM
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine
July 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
Toyota Scientist: Autonomous Vehicles May Lead to Increased Fuel Consumption, Pollution
July 18, 2014, 2:42 PM
Motorola Moto G Successor Reportedly Uncovered, Moto X Discounted by up to $75
July 21, 2014, 1:11 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information