Google just escaped being prosecuted by the US government in 2012, reports BBC. The US government almost sued Google in 2012 over its anti-competitive policy, including assignment it boosted the search rankings of its own sites over that of competitors. In the end, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) decided to close its investigation after the company—which attracts 64% of all search traffic in the US, according to comScore.
Google has been investigated because of rivals complaints about its dominance of the internet search industry. An internal report showed that some of FTC officials had wanted to prosecute Google. In the end, the regulator persuaded Google to change the way its software worked.
“After an exhaustive 19-month review, covering nine million pages of documents and many hours of testimony, the FTC staff and all five commissioners agreed that there was no need to take action on how we rank and display search results.” said Google in a statement.
An FTC report says that the 4 major issues are:
– Ranking Google’s own properties above rivals
– Threats to remove sites from its search results
– Restrictions on advertisers
– Restrictions on websites that publish search results