back to article FTC: All-powerful Google ABUSED rivals. So we did NOTHING

Google was far closer to being dragged into court by US watchdog the FTC than anyone previously believed, documents have revealed. The Wall Street Journal has obtained and published an internal FTC report that accuses Google of wrongdoing, following a 2012 antitrust probe by the regulator into the company's dominance online. …

  1. Ole Juul

    Google dominance

    I don't accuse Google of doing anything wrong, but their dominant position is starting to become a problem for the ecosystem. I know it's the people's choice to opt in, but I still worry about the lack of diversity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google dominance

      Which ecosystem do you mean Ole?

      Do you mean the Amazon (closed) and Apple (closed) ecosystems? Or Microsoft's? (insert joke here).

      Even if you had the best idea in the world for a startup, you would not want to compete with Google. They own the internet, and can do what the hell they like.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google dominance

      Huh?

      Opt-in?

      Really? Do you actually know what JS is on the pages you're currently reading?

      Do you actually know what happens to sites like El Reg that don't use Google Analytics on their web pages? (Yes they can remove it from their web pages without too much difficulty. )

      Can you name one major site that doesn't have google analytics java script on their web pages, or facebook.net code?

    3. Dan Paul

      Re: Google dominance

      The only "dominance" that Google can be accused of is making a MUCH better product than anyone else in the world. The rest of these accusations just fall in to line with what a well run business does to be succesful. "Diversity" of search engines isn't Googles problem when nobody else even tries to compete.

      Why do you Euros (and some idiots in Washington) think thats abusive? Looks like you want everyone to be deliberately subpar; nobody can be a winner just so no ones feelings get hurt. Reminds me of Teeball "Oh we don't keep score". Any good business does.

      Great companies win. Get used to it or make a better product than they do.

      Otherwise you are just a bunch of jealous children that can't play with the big boys and call Mama when they don't get their way.

      1. ratfox

        Re: Google dominance

        Seems to be the FTC decided that what Google was doing was bad for the competitors — but not bad enough to kill competition. And in the US at least, Google does face significant competition in about everything they do. They have "only" 2/3 of the US search market, unlike in Europe. And yeah, they are the largest in advertising, but only at around 1/3 market share.

        I can't think of any product where Google is able to get away with something that truly sucks. The competition is vicious in pretty much everything they do.

        Apart for Google Reader, so they fixed the glitch.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google dominance

          @ratfox:

          "the FTC decided that what Google was doing was bad for the competitors — but not bad enough to kill competition"

          You haven't understood the story.

          The FTC *knew* that what Google was doing was bad for *consumers*, but Obama's appointees killed the investigation and allowed Google to police itself.

          Happy to help.

      2. Phoenix50

        Re: Google dominance

        So as long as you think they make good products, that's ok then is it?

        What happens when they start making sh***y products? What then? Are they a big bad monopolistic abuser?

        Do you decide that then? Is it just "tough luck" that no one else has come along and beaten them on the quality of their product?

        But hang on...what's this? Google manipulating their search results to promote their own services above everyone else's?

        But then how will our new start-up who has a better product ever get noticed? Don't you see what's happening - Google are the seller AND the product and in doing so they have gained almost total control over all they survey.

        I don't care what side of the Atlantic you're on - that's WRONG.

      3. Dr Stephen Jones

        Re: Google dominance

        fanboy dan:

        "The only "dominance" that Google can be accused of is making a MUCH better product than anyone else in the world. "

        You don't want to RTFA so I'll spell it out slowly for you.

        Google search advertising market share = 90%.

        (Most of the media now depends on advertising, so Google owns digital media)

        Google Analytics market share of the world's top 15 million websites = 98%

        Google mobile OS market share = 85%

        Google OTT video market share = 90%

        Google Maps share = ? (Rivals are far superior, nobody uses them because of platform effects)

        Thank fuck you're not in charge of competition law.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google dominance

          >Google Maps share = ? (Rivals are far superior, nobody uses them because of platform effects)

          Can agree with all the other points but Apple maps is still shit compared to Google maps on iOS at least stateside. I hate using Google anything these days and usually try to give Apple Maps a try first but find at least half the time having to use Google anyway. Yes there are other alternative apps but they mostly collect location data as well. Downvote away.

    4. GoogleIsEvil

      Re: Google dominance

      Google is the public face of the intelligence community and can get away with whatever it wants. It also kicks blogs off Adsense at the behest of oligarchs and politicians in the White House. Larry and Sergy have their noses so far up the arses of the Obama administration. And Eric Schmidt is Mephistopheles himself as he spies for the government on foreign countries.

  2. James 51
    Joke

    Www.duckduckgo.com

    Hmm commissioner, how your search for ------ going?

    1. asdf

      except

      DuckDuck is good but not having a news tab at the top after you search is a big knock against them at least for me.

  3. ItsNotMe
    Facepalm

    I am SHOCKED that nothing was done by the FTC!

    Jun 4, 2009

    "Growing White House ties to Google draw protest"

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/2524926/government-it/growing-white-house-ties-to-google-draw-protest.html

    Sep 04, 2014

    "White House Appoints Google X Exec As Chief Technology Officer"

    http://readwrite.com/2014/09/04/white-house-appoints-google-x-exec-as-chief-technology-officer#!

    Oct 16, 2014

    "White House nominates former Google exec Lee to head patent office"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/16/us-usa-patents-lee-idUSKCN0I52RL20141016

  4. Lord_Butt
    Big Brother

    Rules

    Here in the U. S. the rule of law is no longer the norm. It is now politicians who rule, which is great If you have the cash to buy your own.

    1. ItsNotMe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Rules

      So true...and there is plenty of cash around to buy the politician of your choice...be they Republican...Democrat...or Independent. They are all for sale.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You should be concerned, very concerned...

    ...with the impotence and apathy of the FTC and FCC when it comes to protecting consumers from illegal and unscrupulous business practices thrust on consumers for billions in profit annually. Everyone living in the U.S. should be contacting their elected reps in DC and demanding to know how it is that the FTC and FCC routinely allow the cable and telcos to violate law and escape any accountability or punishment for these massive and chronic violations of law.

    If those in charge at the FTC/FCC refuse to perform their duties under law, they should be replaced with responsible people who will enforce the laws and severely punish cable companies and telcos who knowingly violate law for profit. That is precisely why the FTC and FCC were created - to protect consumers from illegal and unethical extortion. Inaction by the FTC/FCC will cost all U.S. consumers dearly. Now is the time to speak up or forever be raped.

    1. ItsNotMe
      Pint

      Re: You should be concerned, very concerned...

      Ever heard of BOHICA...Bend Over Here It Comes Again?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You should be concerned, very concerned...

      "If those in charge at the FTC/FCC refuse to perform their duties under law, they should be replaced with responsible people who will enforce the laws and severely punish cable companies and telcos who knowingly violate law for profit. "

      The FTC works for Google now, with Obama the useful idiot giving it the orders. If the FTC worked for the people, it would have killed net neutrality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You should be concerned, very concerned...

        You know that an article attracts crackpot theorists when people claim that net neutrality is bad for the people…

  6. Florida1920
    FAIL

    Do no evil

    The other day I was massively downvoted for saying our country was becoming the United Corporations of America. FTC states that Google's actions hurt consumers -- the freaking citizens of the soon-to-be-extinct United States of America -- but the government of this nation -- allegedly "of, by and for the people" does nothing.

    It wasn't supposed to turn out this way.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pathetic US patents are the cause of so many anti-competive problems around the world

    The US Patent Office has issued so many obvious and non-original patents to friendly US companies such as Google and Apple, there is just no way any competitors can get into these markets without coming up against frivolous law suits that send them bankrupt. Even though the US patents are not original and issued wrongly for software methods (which should not be allowed), the US guv has cleverly enforced their patents with US Free Trade agreements all around the world. Each country has been locked in to enforce US patents in exchange for exporting a little of their produce and livestock to the US. That's what I call great forethought on behalf of the US government acting in the best interests of Google and Apple. From the Amazon patent on clicking a buynow link, to the Apple patent on meta-searches, to google patents for all sorts of rubbish that pre-existed the behemoth, the world is held hostage by these corporate giants. Lobby your govt to get rid of these patent from your country.

  8. Sureo

    revised quote

    "After an exhaustive 19-month review, covering nine million pages of documents and many hours of testimony, the FTC staff and all five FTC Commissioners agreed that there was no need to take action on how we rank and display search results."

    should have said

    "After an exhaustive 19-month review, covering nine million pages of documents and many hours of testimony, the FTC staff and all five FTC Commissioners forgot what it was they were doing and went out for a few beers."

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google has money and the US justice system did nothing

    I'm beginning to see a pattern here

  10. GoogleIsEvil

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/25/google_and_obama/

    Google is an intelligence source for Obama.

  11. Richocet

    It's funny reading this 4 years later, and seeing how much worse the situation has got that this doesn't even cause much concern anymore.

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