Google Antitrust Settlement With FTC Could Come Soon: Report
But the potential deal doesn't target a key part of the government investigation—whether Google's actions harm competitors intentionally.A settlement between Google and the Federal Trade Commission on antitrust allegations could be approaching, but it might not include a key part of the U.S. government's concerns about Google's business practices, according to a report by The Washington Post. What's potentially missing in the settlement is that it appears to not include discussions or language addressing one of the most serious charges against Google, that it "intentionally manipulates search results to harm competitors," the Post reported. Instead, "the ongoing talks between Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz and top Google executives are focusing on less controversial issues, such as how the company uses patents and how it displays comments collected from other Internet services, said several people who were familiar with the talks and spoke on the condition of anonymity," the Post reported. "They said that although allegations of search bias could re-emerge should the talks collapse, they are not central to the discussions." This potential situation has left competitors and observers of the proceedings visibly angry, the story said. Attorney Gary Reback, who represents several companies that have complained about Google's practices in delivering search results, told the Post that any FTC settlement deal that doesn't tackle the issue would bring powerful opposition.