Feeds

Google 'wants to dodge consent decree' in any FTC antitrust deal

Choc Factory reportedly trying for a wink and a handshake on antitrust probe

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Google is rumoured to be trying to persuade the Federal Trade Commission that it hasn't broken any antitrust laws and that any agreement it makes with the agency isn't bound by a consent decree.

The Chocolate Factory is looking for a light wrist-slap for its alleged search market dominance as the agency finishes up its 19-month probe of the firm's alleged monopoly.

The FTC and Google have been negotiating a settlement for the last week, and Mountain View wants that agreement to be an informal handshake sort of deal, not a formal beatdown that might hurt its business, familiar people whispered to Bloomberg.

Apparently, Google chairman Eric Schmidt was spotted with the head of the company's Washington office on Capitol Hill yesterday and chief Larry Page was also in town to meet with FTC officials.

The FTC, however, is pushing for Google to fix all of the issues the agency has with the firm's search engine or face a lawsuit, other familiar anonymous people said earlier this month, and wants the full decree.

Google's search business has been blamed for exclusive agreements with online publishers, ranking its own results higher than rivals' offerings, using customer reviews from other sites without permission and generally smiting competition whenever it can.

The internet giant is currently in talks with EU officials as well as the FTC to explain and sort out the allegations.

EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has said that he's due to meet with FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz next week.

Meanwhile, federal regulators are also getting interested in how standards-essential patents (SEP) are being used by Android manufacturers to effectively protect Google's share of the mobile market.

The FTC has been looking into patents as part of its antitrust probe and the question is whether the commission can demand a settlement from Google on Android under the umbrella of unfair competition.

Patent cases are already being argued through the courts and the International Trade Commission in the US and the newest FTC commissioner, Republican Maureen Ohlhausen, has said in a separate probe that she's unsure the agency has jurisdiction to hand out decrees on patent litigation.

However the commission majority said that in "appropriate cases" it would challenge whether using SEP to get bans on products constituted unfair competition. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.