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Google May Alter Search to End FTC Antitrust Inquiry

By - Source: CNET | B 11 comments

Search engine giant could change use of "snippets", which are segments of text from other sites.

The Federal Trade Commission is said to be preparing to end its two-year antitrust investigation of Google, with the search engine giant set to apply voluntary changes to its search practices.

According to Politico's sources, the company is apparently readying an announcement about changes to its use of "snippets," which are segments of text stemming from sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor that are displayed within search results. Yelp and other firms had charged Google with utilizing their content without permission.

The firm has also been the subject of complaints related to the tampering of its search results to lower competitor rankings.

Google is also set to apply tweaks that will allow for more straightforward porting of search-ad campaigns from Google to rival search services.

Politico suggested that the FTC may leave the case to the European Commission, who has commenced an investigation of its own. Reuters, meanwhile, said that, due to a possible defeat, several Google competitors are taking the case to the Justice Department.

The website added that the FTC declined to comment on the purported search tweaks, with Google itself stating: "We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have."

Google CEO Larry Page had said in October that in many cases it doesn't make sense to direct traffic to a competitor. When users are searching for something, he stressed that they're not particularly looking for "links to other search engines," but solely the product they were initially searching for. "I think you want product information; you want to buy something."

 

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  • 12 Hide
    house70 , December 17, 2012 9:05 PM
    "Google CEO Larry Page had said in October that in many cases it doesn't make sense to direct traffic to a competitor. When users are searching for something, he stressed that they're not particularly looking for "links to other search engines," but solely the product they were initially searching for. "I think you want product information; you want to buy something."

    This. If someone wants links to other engines' search results, they should use the other engines to begin with.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    house70 , December 17, 2012 9:05 PM
    "Google CEO Larry Page had said in October that in many cases it doesn't make sense to direct traffic to a competitor. When users are searching for something, he stressed that they're not particularly looking for "links to other search engines," but solely the product they were initially searching for. "I think you want product information; you want to buy something."

    This. If someone wants links to other engines' search results, they should use the other engines to begin with.
  • 3 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 17, 2012 9:08 PM
    Quote:
    The Federal Trade Commission is said to be preparing to end its two-year antitrust investigation of Google


    I wonder what was going on during those two years...
  • 6 Hide
    internetlad , December 17, 2012 9:15 PM
    A Bad DayI wonder what was going on during those two years...


    Blowjobs.

    What do you expect? Government doesn't work in a day, it takes TIME to file frivilous and needless lawsuits.
  • 2 Hide
    kajunchicken , December 17, 2012 9:36 PM
    As much as I understand why you guys disagree with Google being forced to do these things, it is just as bad to ignore Google as it gets bigger an bigger. A monopoly anywhere, particularly over the internet is a bad thing. If you control the majority of the internet, in many ways you control the world.
    Having no competition is also bad for innovation. Before Bing came along, Google was sitting pretty comfortably in the lead and their search format hadn't changed for years. As it became clear that there was going to be at least somewhat serious competition, Google started rolling out new features like instant search and previews. So while you may love Google, think about the advantages of preventing monopoly at the same time.
  • 2 Hide
    misterawsome , December 18, 2012 12:25 AM
    KajunchickenAs much as I understand why you guys disagree with Google being forced to do these things, it is just as bad to ignore Google as it gets bigger an bigger. A monopoly anywhere, particularly over the internet is a bad thing. If you control the majority of the internet, in many ways you control the world.Having no competition is also bad for innovation. Before Bing came along, Google was sitting pretty comfortably in the lead and their search format hadn't changed for years. As it became clear that there was going to be at least somewhat serious competition, Google started rolling out new features like instant search and previews. So while you may love Google, think about the advantages of preventing monopoly at the same time.

    since when has anyone used bing
  • -1 Hide
    pedro_mann , December 18, 2012 3:01 AM
    KajunchickenAs much as I understand why you guys disagree with Google being forced to do these things, it is just as bad to ignore Google as it gets bigger an bigger. A monopoly anywhere, particularly over the internet is a bad thing. If you control the majority of the internet, in many ways you control the world.Having no competition is also bad for innovation. Before Bing came along, Google was sitting pretty comfortably in the lead and their search format hadn't changed for years. As it became clear that there was going to be at least somewhat serious competition, Google started rolling out new features like instant search and previews. So while you may love Google, think about the advantages of preventing monopoly at the same time.

    Although, I am more likely to trust a company if they are investing their cash in other tech such as alternative power, hands- free driving, building out FIBER etc. What I see in America is an inability for other companies to compete and sit on their laurels, thereby raking in enormous profits and transferring that welath the the elite. I would much rather see someone like google challange that notion and bring out more FIBER (mwahahahaa) j/k We've been shakled by the big ISP's for years, time for tht to change.


    (The big question is, what dow we do when google controls, serach, isp, automotive and power generation) I'll leave that to my kids to figure out. All for it if it brings down price.
  • 1 Hide
    virtualban , December 18, 2012 6:18 AM
    If Google won't be able to use fragments of text from other pages to show in their search results, but other search engines will, this would be very unfair advantage of the competition.

    And if no search engine will be able to show fragments of text in the search results, this will be very bad for the consumer.
    I like the text. It makes the difference between "working out in cold weather" and "working out with a cold"
  • 1 Hide
    virtualban , December 18, 2012 8:28 AM
    Since I, the consumer, the demand, likes the fragments of text in my search, Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo, the supplier, could implement it via "opt out" for those who don't want text fragments to be used like that, or even an "opt in" program.
    Then it will be fun to see how users will more likely to click on a link with some text displayed rather than a link with nothing in. I will love to see how the traffic to Yelp will fall after this, while the traffic to other sites that are fine with text displayed like that to rise.
  • 0 Hide
    xcomvic , December 18, 2012 1:54 PM
    Google is going to take over the world just like SkyNet was supposed to do...except this time in the real world, you know?
  • 0 Hide
    ven1ger , December 18, 2012 9:25 PM
    KajunchickenAs much as I understand why you guys disagree with Google being forced to do these things, it is just as bad to ignore Google as it gets bigger an bigger. A monopoly anywhere, particularly over the internet is a bad thing. If you control the majority of the internet, in many ways you control the world.Having no competition is also bad for innovation. Before Bing came along, Google was sitting pretty comfortably in the lead and their search format hadn't changed for years. As it became clear that there was going to be at least somewhat serious competition, Google started rolling out new features like instant search and previews. So while you may love Google, think about the advantages of preventing monopoly at the same time.


    I don't think anyone wants a Google monopoly, but what I think most people disagree with is why the investigation and wanting to pounce on Google. You have to look at the motivation behind these attacks, individuals don't have a problem with the searches on Google, otherwise they would go to some other search engine. Google is what people use because they like it, and they prefer it. Why is it considered a monopoly, it's free, you choose to use it, but just because it is the best at what it does, others (you know who) want to take down Google because they can't compete against Google.

  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 20, 2012 4:55 AM
    internetladBlowjobs.What do you expect? Government doesn't work in a day, it takes TIME to file frivolous and needless lawsuits.

    if for some reason i couldn't type bing or yahoo, than yea, they would have a legitimate case,
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