The following is a statement from FairSearch:
The FTC’s decision to close its investigation with only voluntary commitments from Google is disappointing and premature, coming just weeks before the company is expected to make a formal and detailed proposal to resolve the four abuses of dominance identified by the European Commission, first among them biased display of its own properties in search results.
The FTC’s settlement is by no means the last word in this case, leaving the FTC without a major role in the final resolution to the investigations of Google’s anti-competitive practices by state attorneys general and the European Commission. The FTC’s inaction on the core question of search bias will only embolden Google to act more aggressively to misuse its monopoly power to harm other innovators.
State attorneys general who reportedly disagreed with today’s announcement by the FTC have an important role to play in ensuring both that Google is not allowed to continue practices that hurt every American business through artificially high advertising costs, and to demand that whatever changes Google is forced to make in Europe also apply for U.S. consumers who risk losing innovation because of Google’s aggressive abuse of its dominance.
FairSearch and its members will continue work with authorities in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere who are investigating Google. Our members also plan to participate in the European Commission’s market testing of any proposed binding remedies to Google’s harms. FairSearch will continue to fight to restore truly competitive conditions to the market for search and related online services. No less than the future of innovation and small business on the Internet is at stake.