Google is expected to make some make voluntary changes to end nearly two years of US investigation into claims that the Internet search giant intentionally manipulates search results to harm competitors.
According to two sources familiar with the matter Google will make changes, such as limiting use of restaurant and travel reviews from other websites and letting search ad campaigns be easily ported to rival search services.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also preparing to enter into a settlement with Google on a related case over how the company uses its acquired stockpile of patents against competitors, Politico reports.
According to the report, under the patent agreement, Google will curtail using key patents it picked up when it purchased Motorola Mobility to block competitors infringing those patents from getting their products to the market, although there are exceptions, sources
The report said that by allowing Google to voluntarily address some complaints about use of its dominant search and search advertising businesses, the company would avoid a consent decree that could be enforced by the FTC over time.
That is sure to upset Google critics and complainants, who will see it as more of a slap on the wrist, the report added.
Meanwhile, Google declined to comment on details of the case, and said that the firm ‘continue to work cooperatively with the FTC and are happy to answer any questions they may have.’