Google Wins With FTC Antitrust Settlement, Industry Reacts Pro & Con

Google FTC logosGoogle walked away largely unhurt from yesterday’s FTC antitrust investigation settlement, and in the 24 hours or so since that announcement, the online/marketing/tech industry has responded with mixed reactions.

In a nutshell, the FTC settlement prevents Google from scraping third-party content for inclusion in its search results (what it used to do with content from companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor), requires Google to make it easier for advertisers to export campaigns to other platforms, and also requires Google to let competitors fair and reasonable access to its patents for “standards-essential” technologies related to smartphones and other devices.

On our sister site, Greg Sterling writes that this all falls heavily in Google’s favor.

I think what can be definitively said is that this is a major victory for Google (capital M). The settlement requires Google to make some relatively minor changes to its AdWords practices and to the way it deals with the indexing and presentation of third party content. Google will also discontinue some of its patent litigation. All of these are simple actions that involve little or no expense on the company’s part.

Needless to say, some of Google’s competitors aren’t happy with the settlement. Microsoft called it “weak and unusual” and Yelp says it’s “a missed opportunity to protect innovation.” Others, such as digital marketing agencies Marin Software and Kenshoo, were supportive of the settlement — or at least the aspects related to ad campaign portability.

For more on the settlement itself and the industry reaction, see our two stories on Search Engine Land:

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Business Issues | Google: Legal | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Gerson Va

    It’s hard to beat Google. That’s all I can say.

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