FTC could be knocking at Google's door over antitrust allegations

Lawsuits and the internet are quickly becoming fast friends, with the two coming hand-in-hand lately. Now Google is being targeted by the Federal Trade Commission over antitrust allegations. According to sources close to the case, it could spell out some difficult times for the search giant.

Four of the five FTC commissioners examining and studying Google's business practices are convinced that the company has used its position at the top of the market to ensure it dominates its rivals. The fifth commissioner is skeptical about the issue, but if it is true, it is a crime that they could be fined for; they've been fined by the feds before, as you might recall.

A decision on how to proceed could come in late November or early December, so it could be a Christmas present from hell depending on the timing. The idea that Google is dominating comes from how things appear; users rarely look beyond the top results, meaning companies have to buy into more with Google to move up the rankings.

Google's rivals in shopping, travel and entertainment have claimed the search engine is forcing their results lower due to its own products with similar functionality. Yelp and Nextag have outright said to Congress that they feel this way, bucking the trend most companies follow.

Source: Reuters
Google image via Shutterstock

 

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excellent. about time. let's not repeat the MSFT mistake. google needs to be broken up into android/apps/search. 3 companies. more consumer choice and riddance of the android monopoly is a good thing. google is just a big cancer spreading and we all know where this road leads. like MSFT before it, act before it is too late.

Funny how people here are 'Google can do whatever they want with _THEIR_ website'.
Yet Microsoft can't do whatever they want with _THEIR_ software/Operating System.

The same stuff applies 'if you don't want to use it, then don't use it'.

Just funny, that's all.
Nice fandroids *pets*

Another joyeus occasion for Microsoft lovers who have a deep seated distrust of Google only because they COULD know everything about you if you used their services if they were to go againt their own policies and values, with no evidence that they ever have. This is nothing but backroom dealing, no doubt led by Microsoft (who are butt hurt from their case with the FTC) and Apple (who are using the FTC itself to further their own anticompetitive tactics)

Simon- said,
Another joyeus occasion for Microsoft lovers who have a deep seated distrust of Google only because they COULD know everything about you if you used their services if they were to go againt their own policies and values, with no evidence that they ever have. This is nothing but backroom dealing, no doubt led by Microsoft (who are butt hurt from their case with the FTC) and Apple (who are using the FTC itself to further their own anticompetitive tactics)

Funny. You could say the same thing about microsoft haters with how the EU has been forcing microsoft to include a browser ballot with their os.
It's their os, so shouldn't they be allowed to do whatever they want with it? Same goes for google. It's their search engine. Shouldn't they be able to display whatever they want however they want on there?

I want a browser ballot on apples phone then. And one on android.
Dont work, because its about marketshare. You have more than 70% , you control the market... oh wait. Apple you better hurry up with safary for android. You too MS, start now with IE, because all feature phone (El cheapo smarties) in one to two years timeframe, will be android.

aviator189 said,

Funny. You could say the same thing about microsoft haters with how the EU has been forcing microsoft to include a browser ballot with their os.
It's their os, so shouldn't they be allowed to do whatever they want with it? Same goes for google. It's their search engine. Shouldn't they be able to display whatever they want however they want on there?

aviator189 said,

Funny. You could say the same thing about microsoft haters with how the EU has been forcing microsoft to include a browser ballot with their os.
It's their os, so shouldn't they be allowed to do whatever they want with it? Same goes for google. It's their search engine. Shouldn't they be able to display whatever they want however they want on there?

They only ones lobbying for that was Opera, because they are butt hurt that nobody uses their browser on the Desktop (and are poor Europeans who need protection from Americans and the EU needed to raise some cash from outside the EU), nobody on the consumer level supported the EU on this. Microsoft didnt do anything wrong

It depends on whether or not Google is actually intervening in areas that are supposed to be neutral. Purposely reorganizing search results so their products are favored over competitors' is not OK. That's unethical and well worth an antitrust investigation. However, if the results just happen to put Google's own products near the top because they genuinely are that popular, I don't see any problem with it. Adding in ads and promotional links is fine as long as the results themselves are neutral. There's nothing wrong with using your position in one market to promote your products in another, but doing so by shoving all competition off into a corner where nobody can see it is certainly not acceptable. It'll be interesting to see where this investigation goes.

Scorpian8867 said,
It depends on whether or not Google is actually intervening in areas that are supposed to be neutral. Purposely reorganizing search results so their products are favored over competitors&#039
;

Of course Google is going to favour its own products, the same way Apple, Microsoft and everyone else does. Nobody is forcing anyone to use Google search. If someone doesn't like the results, there are a myriad of other search engines. That's called consumer choice, something lacking in the OEM PC OS market where users are forced to buy PC's with Windows on it, then hope they can claw back the Microsoft tax from the OEM.

Google should be able to put what ever they want on their site... Google products and services should show up first on their site... Its like asking microsoft to put links to apple and linux in bold print on the top of their site before links to windows.... So yeah google is the top dog in their field... that does not mean they now need to help promote their competition... and even if the majority of ppl are to stupid to find an alternative search engine... Its not google's problem that humans as a whole are not very smart... As a capitalistic country the US is supposed to foster fair business... and if you become top in your field that is fair... unless they are hacking and spying on the competition to steal from them or other things... I don't see any issues with Google's business practices. Google got where they are cause ppl have used there services... and they should be able to advertize them.. on their own site... Now if they were using money to block other companies in corrupt biz deals then I would see and issue

Also its at the point I see or hear antitrust... I think oh some company has done well and become too popular that the poor competitors who can't seem to do anything good enought to top them are now begging the government to help cut down the top dogs market share

Arcanevoid85 said,
Google should be able to put what ever they want on their site... Google products and services should show up first on their site... Its like asking microsoft to put links to apple and linux in bold print on the top of their site before links to windows.... So yeah google is the top dog in their field... that does not mean they now need to help promote their competition... and even if the majority of ppl are to stupid to find an alternative search engine... Its not google's problem that humans as a whole are not very smart... As a capitalistic country the US is supposed to foster fair business... and if you become top in your field that is fair... unless they are hacking and spying on the competition to steal from them or other things... I don't see any issues with Google's business practices. Google got where they are cause ppl have used there services... and they should be able to advertize them.. on their own site... Now if they were using money to block other companies in corrupt biz deals then I would see and issue


But in EU Microsoft is already being forced to put links to Firefox, Chrome, other browsers.

Arcanevoid85 said
the poor competitors who can't seem to do anything good enought to top them are now begging the government to help cut down the top dogs market share

Except when it's Microsoft, right?

nickcruz said,

But in EU Microsoft is already being forced to put links to Firefox, Chrome, other browsers.

Microsoft is an abusive monopoly that forces itself on computer users via its NDA'd licensing to OEM's ( aka the Microsoft tax ). Google doesn't do that. One must choose to use Google services, and many do, mainly because they are superior. But again, it's the user's choice.

I don't see any problem with this, it's like walking into a supermarket and complaining that they favour their own products over others... well duh, no one forced you to go to that supermarket.