Google Wins US Search Bias Case But Agrees to Rein In Search Advertising
Although Google has been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of unfairly biasing its search results, it has agreed in the settlement announced yesterday to make changes to certain search advertising practises.
Explaining the exoneration, outside counsel to the FTC, Beth Wilkinson, commented: "Regarding the specific allegations that the company [Google] biased its search results to hurt competition, the evidence collected to date did not justify legal action by the Commission."
Nevertheless, as part of the settlement the search giant has consented to give online advertisers more flexibility to simultaneously manage their ad campaigns on Google's AdWords platform as well as on rival ad platforms.
This change will include Google giving websites the ability to "opt out" of display on Google vertical properties while still having them appear in their organic search results.
Google has also agreed as part of the ruling to give their competitors access to certain patents on smartphones, laptops, tablets and gaming consoles held by both itself and its Motorola Mobility division.
While Google has won this particular battle, they still however face an on-going formal antitrust investigation by The European Commission into whether or not they have abused their dominant market position by stifling competition.