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Friday, November 02, 2012
Pressure Mounts Against Google

Signs that Google will soon face strong antitrust action on both sides of the Atlantic are increasing with a report Thursday from Bloomberg that the the Federal Trade Commission staff has recommended that the Internet giant be sued for unfairly blocking competitors' access to smartphone-technology patents.

Bloomberg reported that a majority of the agency's commissioners are inclined to sue. Earlier it was reported that the FTC is considering suing Google for favoring its own services in search results.

Chairman Jon Leibowitz has said the FTC will decide by the end of the year.

Google is controlling 70 percent of the U.S. market and as such, any tweaks to its proprietary search algorithm can either ensure a business's success or doom it to failure.

"We take our commitments to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms very seriously," Google said.

Earlier in the week the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) wrote Joaguin Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, who has been leading an antitrust probe of Google's behavior. He has said that he would prefer to settle the Commission's concerns without filing a formal case. One possible settlement that has been reported to be on the table is to require Google to label its own services as getting favorable treatment in search results.

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