Google has told the FTC they will make a few changes to it’s products and the FTC decided to voluntarily close it’s 19 month investigation. This is extremely interesting considering how the FTC treated Microsoft not so many years ago. Here are the changes that Google agreed to make:
- No “scraping” of 3rd party content for inclusion in Google Search results. I call this ode to Yelp as this was the major complaint from Yelp
- Google will also allow easier exporting of Google Adwords campaigns to other platforms such as Bing. This will make it easier for Pay Per Click campaigns to be set up on other platforms, but let’s be honest Google is 80% of the search market so no one is going leave Adwords.
- Google will also fairly license its patents that were acquired through the purchase of Motorola and stop using these patents in an anti-competitive way. “Fairly” is always important word to watch in these circumstances as the term “Fair” is a relative marker.
Don’t get me wrong I love Google and all of it’s products, but something seems a little odd to me about this settlement. Possibly cronyism or something else, but this seems more than a little odd to get away with a voluntary settlement with the FTC.