Google, FTC reach agreement

Ending an 18-month investigation, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it did not find enough evidence to warrant legal action against Google over its search results, but it said the Internet giant had voluntarily agreed to change some other practices.

Google will no longer “scrape” reviews from competitors to use as its own and also will make it easier for businesses to advertise with competing search engines, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. In a separate matter, Leibowitz said Google had agreed to license patents for standard mobile technology that are essential to devices including Xboxes and iPads.

The announcement follows nearly 18 months of investigation by federal authorities and vociferous complaints from Google’s competitors, who had urged the FTC to file an anti-trust lawsuit against Google over allegations that the Internet search giant was unfairly favoring its own online services.

— Staff and wire reports

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