On December 19, we reported that, according to sources, the FTC was set to push its investigation of Google into early 2013. Originally, it was to be settled by the end of 2012, but a heap of criticism prompted an extension while the agency looked into additional penalties. Apparently they didn’t need much extra time, as sources are now stating that Google will settle the probe tomorrow.
According to Bloomberg, three individuals familiar with the proceeding have stated that Google will settle with the FTC on January 3 in its probe over practices that harm its competition. As has been stated for awhile, Google will settle with a consent decree and a voluntary agreement regarding its use of three patents to stymie its competition.
In addition, it is being said that the FTC also plans to close the probe into whether Google alters its search engine results in it own favor, giving itself preference over its competitors. Says the sources, Google will let advertisers export data and will alter its use of content from websites. Many critics have been vocal in their unhappiness with the FTC’s slap on the wrist response to the issues.
Earlier today, Microsoft’s Vice President Dave Heiner made a post criticizing the FTC’s lax response to the issues and lambasting Google for intentionally harming its competition. In the piece, Heiner claimed that Microsoft had recently received word that Google instructed YouTube not to “enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones.”
FairSearch.org issued this statement. “If the FTC fails to take decisive action to end Google’s anti-competitive practices, and locks itself out of any remedies to Google’s conduct that are offered in Europe later this month, the FTC will have acted prematurely and failed in its mission of protecting America’s consumers.”