Those who cannot remember history

Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is losing patience with Google in its antitrust investigation

Google Inc. (GOOG) is being pressed by U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz to make an offer to settle the agency’s antitrust investigation in the next few days or face a formal complaint, two people familiar with the situation said.


FTC investigators have recommended the agency issue a complaint against Google for ranking its own services higher than those of competitors, for signing exclusive agreements to provide search services to online publishers and for making it difficult for advertisers to compare data about campaigns running on rival sites by Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Bing, people familiar with the investigation have said.

The staff has also recommended the agency issue a complaint against Google for misusing patent protections to block rivals’ smartphones from coming to market, the people have said.

Remember how in 1998 Microsoft said “Why should we settle this antitrust suit? We’ve done nothing wrong?” How’d that work out?

4 thoughts on “Those who cannot remember history

  1. It basically worked out just fine for Microsoft. So they had to document a few APIs they previously hadn’t, but basically they went back to doing exactly what they always had done.

  2. The difference here is that Google actually did not do anything wrong. They are being investigated by a different agency. And any attempt by the FTC to control Google’s rankings will run a foul of Google’s first amendment rights.

    The FTC doesn’t’ seem to have “solutions” so they are suggesting that Google offer some, and it would be naive to think that the source of that “leak” is anyone but the FTC.

    They want Google to give up ranking, the other contentions are merely to add pressure. Google wont give up it’s ranking considerations.

    MSFT ought to be ashamed that they are involved in orgs like ICOMP and fairsearch

  3. John, the US case was about bundling — one consequence was that Microsoft was prohibited from restricting OEM crapware.

    It was the EU case that involved the documentation of APIs.

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