This Just In: Google & FTC Strike Deal
"Under a settlement reached with the FTC, Google will meet its prior commitments to allow competitors access – on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms – to patents on critical standardized technologies needed to make popular devices such as smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and gaming consoles. In a separate letter of commitment to the Commission, Google has agreed to give online advertisers more flexibility to simultaneously manage ad campaigns on Google’s AdWords platform and on rival ad platforms; and to refrain from misappropriating online content from so-called “vertical” websites that focus on specific categories such as shopping or travel for use in its own vertical offerings."
Los Angeles Times:
Google strikes deal with FTC to end antitrust probe
Sadly, nothing about NOT PROVIDED - though I know that was not the focus on this investigation.
I think this just proves that anti-competitive behavior in a new industry is very difficult for the government to understand. Look at Microsoft, they were able to put Netscape out of business and get a anti-trust slap on the wrist years later when it didn't matter anymore.
I have known small businesses and individuals to be investigated by the government longer than 19 months. These were voluntary commitments from Google...that's not even a slap on the wrist. Chad is right; anti-competitive behavior in a new industry is hard for our government to properly understand. This just goes to show you that big business will always win.
OK... so I've been reading a few articles about this case and as stupid as this might sound I think I have a way to explain why the FTC let Google off so easy. Keep in mind that I AGREE WITH CHAD that the government doesn't have a good understanding of new markets...
The FTC see's the online advertising industry in the same light as... well lets say your average grocery store. Sure you have bigger name brands, you have those mid level (decent but not as good as the biggest brands), then you have the store brands. Everybody has their products in the same isle, but the store puts their brand on sale. Everyone can still shop and get the other products, but there are more banners and signs to promote the store brand. You're in their store, it's their product, so why not be able to promote it? Sure the store can't hide the other brands or not put them on the shelves if the vendors decide they will pay more for a higher, eye level placement (adwords...*cough*), but the store can make their packaging bigger and more flashy if they want. As long as the other brands have more ability to control where their products are placed, and the customers at the store still have a good variety of choices everyone wins.
Sounds stupid, but that's my attempt at trying to make this court case extremely simplified.
Well stated Carissa. I think this is a bunch of bla! I mean I understand the government has other issue to handle but this is still demoralizing for the small guys trying to take on the big guy.
Eric, Your attempt puts things in perspective in a way. I still feel as if we are dealing with a Monopolistic business and that is something shouldn't be taken so lightly.
Technically Google isn't a monopoly. I think we've had this discussion on this forum before...
I'm not speaking technically but yes we did discuss this before. Thank you for the up Mr. Eric.
I think FairSearch.org's reaction to the settlement is pretty en pointe:
"The FTC’s settlement is by no means the last word in this case, leaving the FTC without a major role in the final resolution to the investigations of Google’s anti-competitive practices by state attorneys general and the European Commission. The FTC’s inaction on the core question of search bias will only embolden Google to act more aggressively to misuse its monopoly power to harm other innovators."
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