The U.S Federal Trade Commission, has been investigating Google for anti-trust practices. Yesterday, the U.S FTC ruled that there was not enough evidence for them to file an antitrust case against Google.
The review by FTC was based on complaints that Google was pushing its own services and promoting them on search results at the cost of competitors. The complaints were that they were doing this at the cost of results pointing to competitors. This means Google will not face antitrust proceedings like Microsoft did almost 15 years ago.
The biggest winner is obviously Google. Is it the sole winner? I do not think so. For example if what Google shows in its search results can be regulated, it might not just stop there. Someone might want to regulate what Facebook shows in user feeds.
The other winners are users. Though a lot of people complain about Google being evil, but then we can easily shift to Bing or Yahoo for our search needs.
Google dominates mainly because it gives better results and any sort of control on it freedom to make changes to it search results would have at some point of time diluted its ability to serve useful results.
Microsoft Cries Foul!
It also looks like Microsoft will end up being the big loser. It owns Bing and would have greatly benefited from any restrictions of Google. Microsoft also complained in a blog post about Google escaping antitrust proceeding. That said Microsoft itself faced antitrust cases and has lost before.
How unhappy Microsoft is feeling can be gauged from this blog post in which it basically complains about Google not being hit with antitrust proceedings. It is understandable to see Microsoft’s angst as it keeps investing billions in their search engine and still is nowhere close to challenge Google’s dominance.