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Google confirms FTC conducting review of its business

post #1 of 122
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Google has confirmed that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is opening an investigation into the company's business practices.

In an official blog post on Friday entitled "Supporting choice, ensuring economic opportunity," the company said it had received notification from the FTC regarding the initiation of a review of its business.

"We respect the FTCs process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services," the post read.

Google said the exact nature of the commission's concerns remained unclear, while continuing to vouch for the reliability and integrity of its search results. The post highlighted the company's guiding principles for search, which include:
Do whats best for the user.Provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible.Label advertisements clearly.Be transparent.Loyalty, not lock-in.
"These are the principles that guide us, and we know theyll stand up to scrutiny. Were committed to giving you choices, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, fostering an Internet that benefits us all," the company said.

Rumblings of an imminent FTC antitrust investigation emerged earlier in the week. Sources close to the federal agency told The New York Times that FTC lawyers had been looking into Google's search and advertising operations for months to determine whether the company had engaged in "illegal anticompetitive behavior" in its search result rankings and advertising sales.

Google's success in the search engine market has drawn comparisons to Microsoft's Windows monopoly. As of May, Google held 65.5 percent of the U.S. search market, while Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing accounted for 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

During the search engine's rise to prominence, rival companies have called for antitrust investigations of Google. One organization, FairSearch.org, represents companies, including Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak and Microsoft, concerned that "Google is abusing its search monopoly to thwart competition."

"Google engages in anticompetitive behavior across many vertical categories of search that harms consumers, the organization said in a statement. The result of Googles anticompetitive practices is to curb innovation and investment in new technologies by other companies.

Apple's complicated relationship will likely come under scrutiny during the FTC investigation. Last year, the agency cited the Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker's entry into the advertising market as a reason to approve Google's acquisition of advertising agency AdMob. Apple launched the iAd platform last year after acquiring Quattro Wireless.
post #2 of 122
I'm as confused about this as Google is. Why exactly is the FTC investigating Google? They don't really fit the classic definition of a monopoly. Anyone can choose another search engine as their default.

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post #3 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm as confused about this as Google is. Why exactly is the FTC investigating Google? They don't really fit the classic definition of a monopoly. Anyone can choose another search engine as their default.

Very true, and it's not even set up as the default with the majority of computers sold, since Internet Explorer has Bing by default, so I'm not really sure why there is a monopoly issue with Google. There are many other, more serious and real problems, but not a monopoly.
post #4 of 122
As long as Google doesn't behave as arrogant as Microsoft did back in 2000, this will pass. Remember when judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wanted to split Microsoft because they pissed him off? Then the EU got involved and drilled them a new one...

Google just has to be cool and cooperate with the FTC. They may be asked to correct a few things here and there but Google will remain Google.

Obviously Microsoft is the primary company behind this. They want to destroy Google but may end up destroying themselves trying.

Time will tell.
post #5 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm as confused about this as Google is. Why exactly is the FTC investigating Google? They don't really fit the classic definition of a monopoly. Anyone can choose another search engine as their default.

The core of the matter is in Google's ranking system. 3rd parties are upset because Google is promoting it's services over theirs.

Usually typing in a generic term like Maps, and you'll see Google maps is the 1st followed by Yahoo, mapquest and Bing.

EX. http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&h...w=1280&bih=685

There are exceptions to the case such as News:
http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&h...w=1280&bih=685
post #6 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm as confused about this as Google is. Why exactly is the FTC investigating Google? They don't really fit the classic definition of a monopoly. Anyone can choose another search engine as their default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Very true, and it's not even set up as the default with the majority of computers sold, since Internet Explorer has Bing by default, so I'm not really sure why there is a monopoly issue with Google. There are many other, more serious and real problems, but not a monopoly.

It's very simple if you don't willfully ignore the problem. Google is massively dominant in search, and it's using that dominance to increase its revenues and leverage itself into one market after another by manipulating search results in its favor
post #7 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's very simple if you don't willfully ignore the problem. Google is massively dominant in search, and it's using that dominance to increase its revenues and leverage itself into one market after another by manipulating search results in its favor

Indeed, and using other things like Android to entrench its search dominance. I'm also willing to bet that Skyhook is one of the complainants.
post #8 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's very simple if you don't willfully ignore the problem. Google is massively dominant in search, and it's using that dominance to increase its revenues and leverage itself into one market after another by manipulating search results in its favor

There could be multiple problems not a single one. Google DOES favor it's own service, but is not afraid to show alternatives ergo the link I provided for maps.

As part of it's advertising Google hands over some code to it's advertisers to tweak to get desired search results. Some of these advertisers have been noted for hiring 3rd party developers who can't tweak to save their lives and thus failing to get the desired results.
post #9 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I'm also willing to bet that Skyhook is one of the complainants.

NO. Skyhook wanted to be the default maps service and have Exclusive rights to data collection on Motorola handsets barring any other option via contract of Which Google would not allow for it's sake, of for 3rd party apps using Maps API's. Google also feared compatibility issues with XPS.

Skyhook revised their code, but neither it nor Motorola tested and submitted the code to Google. Skyhook pushed Moto into submitting the code into their UI regardless of Google's approval. Moto got fed up and cancelled their contract with skyhook. Skyhook got pissed and that's how the lawsuit was born.

Skyhook tried to sue Google for potential damages. It was thrown out in great part in that XPS was used in Many Non-android and Apple products and that their revenue stream was not being affected by such a decision.
post #10 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

There could be multiple problems not a single one. Google DOES favor it's own service, but is not afraid to show alternatives ergo the link I provided for maps.

I strongly recommend you read this http://thisismynext.com/2011/05/12/g...orola-samsung/

It opens up just how far google is willing to go to deny access to a competitor, and this is from a bunch of guys who are clearly android fans.
post #11 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

There could be multiple problems not a single one. Google DOES favor it's own service, but is not afraid to show alternatives ergo the link I provided for maps.

Google also offers some of the best services on the Web. Try not using Google search, Google map and Google Translate for a while and use the competitors instead. You will quickly discover how much they suck.

I tink Google provides the best results for the customer. I think customers would gladly switch if there were better alternatives. Why use an inferior product when the best costs the same or less and is readily available?

Time will tell.
post #12 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

N
Skyhook tried to sue Google for potential damages. It was thrown out in great part in that XPS was used in Many Non-android and Apple products and that their revenue stream was not being affected by such a decision.

I can't find any link to an article saying that the suit was thrown out - it was still live as of May 19th. Indeed the discovery process had turned up some very embarrasing emails from google. Link?
post #13 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I can't find any link to an article saying that the suit was thrown out - it was still live as of May 19th. Indeed the discovery process had turned up some very embarrasing emails from google. Link?

http://www.socialaw.com/slip.htm?cid=20416&sid=121
post #14 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I strongly recommend you read this http://thisismynext.com/2011/05/12/g...orola-samsung/

It opens up just how far google is willing to go to deny access to a competitor, and this is from a bunch of guys who are clearly android fans.


When the bunch was with Engadget they were accused of Apple favoritism. Who knew?

Anyway, as noted in most of the news articles, the complaints the FTC is checking come from competitors and not consumers. No surprise there. That's going to make it tough for take seriously. Proving Google really doesn't deliver the results an individual consumer is searching for is going to be exceptionally hard to show (in my experience it almost always does), and that's what would be needed to prove a search fraudulently led to some Google service wouldn't it?
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post #15 of 122
As of June 13, 2011 the suit was alive (according to Skyhook's CEO).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I can't find any link to an article saying that the suit was thrown out - it was still live as of May 19th. Indeed the discovery process had turned up some very embarrasing emails from google. Link?
post #16 of 122
That doesn't show the lawsuit was thrown out. That shows Skylink simply lost a preliminary Motion asking for an injunction of some sort or another. Injunctions hardly ever are granted at the early stages of a lawsuit.

Quote:
post #17 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

That doesn't show the lawsuit was thrown out. That shows Skylink simply lost a preliminary Motion asking for an injunction of some sort or another. Injunctions hardly ever are granted at the early stages of a lawsuit.

Jexus is a paid Google representative trying to spin things in their favor. The old ones haven't been doing so well here, so they recently brought him on board, hoping for better results. Well, a dollar spent here is a dollar less in Washington.
post #18 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

That doesn't show the lawsuit was thrown out. That shows Skylink simply lost a preliminary Motion asking for an injunction of some sort or another. Injunctions hardly ever are granted at the early stages of a lawsuit.

Yes, indeed Google's own request for a summary dismissal in May was similarly rejected. Google may well decide to cave on this rather than take the heat at the FTC.
post #19 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I strongly recommend you read this http://thisismynext.com/2011/05/12/g...orola-samsung/

It opens up just how far google is willing to go to deny access to a competitor, and this is from a bunch of guys who are clearly android fans.

Everyone should read this. "Do no evil" my a$$.

Quote:

ROTFLMAO. That doesn't say it was thrown out. It says that the preliminary injunction was denied - which simply says that there are issues of fact to be decided.
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post #20 of 122
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


When the bunch was with Engadget they were accused of Apple favoritism. Who knew?

Pretty much all you have to do to be accused of Apple favoritism (repeatedly, loudly, angrily, with obscenities) is run the occasional article about Apple that doesn't explicitly denounce them as vile.
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post #21 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Everyone should read this. "Do no evil" my a$$.

I'm not sure I'd call it evil, but it's definitely at the very least right up at the creepy line, and leaning over.

Eric Schmidt: Google's Policy Is To "Get Right Up To The Creepy Line And Not Cross It"
post #22 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


When the bunch was with Engadget they were accused of Apple favoritism. Who knew?

Well they don't seem to be these days. I just listened to them go on for 20 minutes about how much they were excited by 7in android tablets.
post #23 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Well they don't seem to be these days. I just listened to them go on for 20 minutes about how much they were excited by 7in android tablets.

That's because they didn't have a 7" iPad to be excited about.
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post #24 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That's because they didn't have a 7" iPad to be excited about.

I wonder if Steve Jobs will weaken and produce one. They held out for years against making an ultra-portable and now the air is huge. If the 7inch G-tab really sold even 3 mil then that would surely be a market worth entering.
post #25 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post

As they should. Google is NOTHING but pure evil.

I hope that they get shut down completely. They have no respect for privacy, like Steve does.

They are pure evil.

That's not going to happen and you know it.
post #26 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I wonder if Steve Jobs will weaken and produce one. They held out for years against making an ultra-portable and now the air is huge. If the 7inch G-tab really sold even 3 mil then that would surely be a market worth entering.

Steve said how many times that users would never watch video on an iPod, then he gave us iPod + video.

The iPod Touch may yet morph into a 7" iPad.
post #27 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackTheRat View Post

Steve said how many times that users would never watch video on an iPod, then he gave us iPod + video.

The iPod Touch may yet morph into a 7" iPad.

That would make sense, though hopefully they would keep the current touch form-factor too - it's still a very big seller, 9mil units per quarter and 20mil over the holidays.
post #28 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That would make sense, though hopefully they would keep the current touch form-factor too - it's still a very big seller, 9mil units per quarter and 20mil over the holidays.

Apple may not call it an iPad, but a 7" form factor device from them would probably sell well, and be much more travel friendly. Mr. Jobs has changed his view before (ie no AppStore), so no surprise from me if one appears.
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post #29 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I wonder if Steve Jobs will weaken and produce one. They held out for years against making an ultra-portable and now the air is huge. If the 7inch G-tab really sold even 3 mil then that would surely be a market worth entering.

It's not a question of "weakening", they did their research, decided that 7" sucks, and they have no interest in making a product that sucks just to please a handful of people who don't realize that it sucks. The MBA is not the "ultra-portable" they said they weren't interested in making, those ultra-portables were netbooks, which the MBA is decidedly not. Three million isn't even worth the time it would take to design it.
post #30 of 122
Must be a slow news lately since I've been seeing quite a bit of Google news lately on this site lately.

How about reporting on Apple relatedly news like that the new Time Capsules are using consumer-grade hard drives now despite Apple still lists them as server-grade?
http://m.engadget.com/default/articl...eng_latest_art
post #31 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackTheRat View Post

The iPod Touch may yet morph into a 7" iPad.

I can think of zero electronic products that would benefit from a 7" screen.

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post #32 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm as confused about this as Google is. Why exactly is the FTC investigating Google? They don't really fit the classic definition of a monopoly. Anyone can choose another search engine as their default.

The issue is NOT the natural monopoly Google has on search.

Just like the problem was not Windows' monopoly in the PC market.

It is Google/Microsoft abusing their natural monopoly to enter other markets.
post #33 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

Must be a slow news lately since I've been seeing quite a bit of Google news lately on this site lately.

How about reporting on Apple relatedly news like that the new Time Capsules are using consumer-grade hard drives now despite Apple still lists them as server-grade?
http://m.engadget.com/default/articl...eng_latest_art

because it's not really news?

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/03/01/...as-advertised/
post #34 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The MBA is not the "ultra-portable" they said they weren't interested in making, those ultra-portables were netbooks, which the MBA is decidedly not. Three million isn't even worth the time it would take to design it.

I'd disagree, the ultra-portables that people had been crying out for (at least some of us) from Apple where not cheap netbooks but something similar to the luxury Vaios from Sony. As for the market being too small for a 7inch, that may be true - but it may be worth it anyway to deny Samsung et al a niche, that might otherwise be a springboard into the tablet proper market.
post #35 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

Must be a slow news lately since I've been seeing quite a bit of Google news lately on this site lately.

How about reporting on Apple relatedly news like that the new Time Capsules are using consumer-grade hard drives now despite Apple still lists them as server-grade?
http://m.engadget.com/default/articl...eng_latest_art

Or that Freedompress.org and a coalition of unrelated Librarians and information professionals are making grass-roots efforts to stop the evil actions of Apple with respect to them heeding pressure from content holders and filing for patents that allow suspension of video and camera capabilities when iPhone users attend concerts and the like.

Shut down our ability to communicate visual information at concerts may seem innocuous, until governmental bodies seize control and shut down our ability to communicate visual information at political rallies and other such catastrophic or impugning possible events. (Big Brother is now)

I'm being sarcastic about the evil and Big Brother part... but it is a bit eerie when you think of the big picture.
post #36 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

because it's not really news?

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/03/01/...as-advertised/

Unfortunately, Apple's response does little to clarify the situation since they aren't revealing what the MTBF is for the hard drives. Apple and Western Digital are keeping those numbers tight lipped. Normally, a manufacturer would be touting those numbers for a true server-grade hard drive.
post #37 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I'd disagree, the ultra-portables that people had been crying out for (at least some of us) from Apple where not cheap netbooks but something similar to the luxury Vaios from Sony. ...

That might be, but the one they said they weren't interested in making was a netbook.
post #38 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I'd disagree, the ultra-portables that people had been crying out for (at least some of us) from Apple where not cheap netbooks but something similar to the luxury Vaios from Sony. As for the market being too small for a 7inch, that may be true - but it may be worth it anyway to deny Samsung et al a niche, that might otherwise be a springboard into the tablet proper market.

Apple never said they are not interested in making ultra portables.

They said they are not interested in making netbooks.
post #39 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

Unfortunately, Apple's response does little to clarify the situation since they aren't revealing what the MTBF is for the hard drives. Apple and Western Digital are keeping those numbers tight lipped. Normally, a manufacturer would be touting those numbers for a true server-grade hard drive.

Just letting you know that's not news... it's news from 2008.
post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

Just letting you know that's not news... it's news from 2008.

That's horrible.
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