Skip to main content

FTC closes Google antitrust investigation: Google agrees to modify search practices, license Motorola patents on fair terms

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is right now announcing the results of its nearly two-year long investigation into antitrust claims surrounding some of the Google’s core businesses. The Wall Street Journal is posting live updates from the press conference and, as expected, Google has agreed to voluntarily modify some of its search practices—despite the FTC declaring “‘evidence does not support a claim’ that Google was abusing placement of search results.” As for the claims of abusing Motorola patents, Google agreed to provide Motorola patents to any company requesting a license on fair terms:

The outcome: Google has agreed to let websites opt out of having their content scraped without being punished in overall search results… Will the FTC be monitoring Google’s search algorithm for bias? No. Unanimous decision that there was no violation of antitrust laws or FTC regulations. Pretty conclusive. “The facts weren’t there”, FTC says.

Google has to offer a license to any company wanting to use its Motorola patents. So that’s that. “Committments to make patents available on reasonable terms. Company’s cannot just make this committments when it suits them”

Google also just commented on the antitrust probe resolution via a post on the Google Public Policy blog:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced it has closed its investigation into Google after an exhaustive 19-month review that covered millions of pages of documents and involved many hours of testimony. The conclusion is clear: Google’s services are good for users and good for competition.

Related articles:

Google further agreed with the FTC (PDF) to try to resolve standard-essential patent disputes before seeking injunctions, and it wrote (PDF) to the FTC to announce two voluntary product changes:

  • More choice for websites: Websites can already opt out of Google Search, and they can now remove content (for example reviews) from specialized search results pages, such as local, travel and shopping;
  • More ad campaign control: Advertisers can already export their ad campaigns from Google AdWords. They will now be able to mix and copy ad campaign data within third-party services that use our AdWords API.

Get more details on the Google Public Policy blog:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.