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FTC Takes No Action against Google Despite Strong Evidence of Search Results Manipulation

Google has been accused of anti-competition activities in a report recently released by the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC report states that Google demoted competition local business, shopping and travel services while giving preferential treatment to its own. The report was made public after 2 years of the investigations coming to an end.

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Motorola, which Google held at that time, is at the top of the list involved in unethical behaviour by the search giant. Google is blamed of interfering manually with its ranking algorithm and scouring content from other websites.

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As an instance, there are clear evidences that Google delivered results from Zagat rather than from Yelp, despite the standard search algorithms working the other way. Zagat is owned by Google. Google did the same with Google Shopping compared to other comparison shopping engines.

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Eventually, the FTC concluded the investigation with a statement that Google interfered with its organic results only to improve the overall user experience.

Despite this questionable stance by the FTC, several of its officials have been reported to be serious about taking legal action against the search giant.

They believed that Google was causing “harm” to innovation and standard procedures in online advertising and search industry, and even to the consumers.

According to the FTC report, Google is accused of using tactics to affect its competitors by manipulating its power over search. They however denied taking any action against the search giant, as it assured them of discontinuing any such practice in the future.

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Google, in its defence said that everything was part of its regular change of search algorithms. Its officials said that hundreds of changes are made every year to provide accurate information to its users. Many industry critics claim the FTC had been lenient on Google’s actions.

The search giant took advantage of its monopoly over the search and online advertising market and played with the search results to favour its own products and systems.