Amwal Al Ghad - 2012-12-17 09:02:26
Google Inc. (GOOG) is poised to offer voluntary concessions that will end a 20-month U.S. antitrust probe of its business practices without any enforcement action being taken, two people familiar with the matter said.
Google, which has been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, is preparing a letter promising not to copy content from rival websites without permission and to allow advertisers to compare data from ad campaigns with their performance on other Internet search engines, one of the people said yesterday. That will bring the antitrust investigation to a close without a lawsuit or settlement, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.
An end to the probe without enforcement action would be a blow to competitors including Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Yelp Inc., and Expedia Inc. An alliance of such e-commerce and Web-search companies have pressed the agency to act, claiming Google’s dominance of Internet search combined with favoring its own services in answers to queries violates antitrust laws.
Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman, declined to comment on whether Google is preparing to announce concessions in the case or whether the FTC is preparing to close the matter without taking action. Cecelia Prewett, a spokeswoman for the FTC, also declined to comment. More»