After months of investigation for illegal, anti-competitive behavior, the Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has reached a settlement with Google. Although it is good news for everyone, it is not with Google. The two major hits to the company was its patents and prioritized search results.
In patents, the Federal Trade Commission has blocked Google from using their parents to attack competitors. The company has to licence out some of the patents the company owns to people or companies willing to buy a licence to their patent. In addition, some of their patents will be open for anyone to use because some of the patents are so fundamental to the existence of smart devices. This issue was raised after Google bought Motorola Mobility; Google bought Motorola for its patents to protect themselves from rivaling companies like Apple from events like the Samsung versus Apple battle seen during the summer of 2012.
In prioritized search results, the Federal Trade Commission has blocked the company from pulling data from other rivaling services to beef up its own services. This means that Google cannot pull reviews and comments from other rivaling services and claim it as their own. As a result, rivaling companies can opt out of their content from being duplicated by Google without the threat of demoting their search results. In addition, Google has announced that it is also removing restrictions in the AdWords platform that from using complementary ad services in addition to Google own ad services.
Although Google has been hit hard from the Federal Trade Commission’s trial, there is one small victory for Google. Although Google is unable to demote rivaling services, Google can still allowed to place their own content and services above its competitors.
Although this sounds like bad news for Google, it is a benefit for everyone. Licencing out patents as well as opening some of the necessary patents will help prevent more delays and bans on mobile devices as well as less legal battles over patents. In addition, the ruling on searches has helped create a standard for future searches and search engines.
You can read the full FTC report here.