Google confirms FTC conducting review of its business

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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 FTC?s 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 what?s 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 they?ll stand up to scrutiny. We?re 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 Google?s 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 121
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 121
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 121
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 121
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    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
  • Reply 5 of 121
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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
  • Reply 6 of 121
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 121
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 121
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 121
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 121
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 121
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 121
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    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
  • Reply 13 of 121
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,584member
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 121
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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?



  • Reply 15 of 121
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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.





  • Reply 16 of 121
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 121
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 121
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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$$.





    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.
  • Reply 19 of 121
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 121
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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"
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