On Monday, media sources reported that Google is preparing a letter intended to offer voluntary concessions and attempt to end a 20-month long FTC antitrust probe that is becoming uncomfortable for the Internet giant.
Even though, the FTC has not recommended any enforcement action, Bloomberg News reported that according to its sources, Google is ready to promise not to copy content from rival websites without permission and to permit advertisers the option to compare data from ad campaigns with performance on other Internet search engines.
However, what happens in reality remains to be seen as competitors of Google have interests in seeing the FTC probe continue, and an alliance consisting of Microsoft, Yelp and Expedia has been pressing the FTC to act. Other search engines claim that antitrust laws are violated with Google favoring its own services in response to search queries.
In an email, Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman declined to confirm the news but said, “We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have.”
It is public knowledge that Google is attempting to settle the matter and having talks with the FTC for over two weeks. Until now, Google has been resisting any settlement that blocks Google from hurting its business prospects. However, the alliance which has been urging FTC to take action, Fairsearch.org, said in an e-mail, “If the FTC fails to take meaningful action after a nearly two-year investigation, Google will only be emboldened to act in ways that are more harmful to consumers and innovators.”
Google is also in talks with European Union officials over essentially the same antitrust concerns including copying the web content of competitors and making agreements with websites and developers to stifle competition.