In a much anticipated move, Google settled the patent abuse and antitrust complaints with the federal Trade Commission (FTS) of United States (US). However, the antitrust probe initiated by the European Union (EU) is still pending a resolution.
Various projections have revealed that Google, Facebook, Samsung etc may face more scrutiny from EU and US Regulators. As per Global Taxation And Anti Competition Regulatory Issues In 2012 And Projections Report For 2013 By Perry4Law, the year 2013 would see an enhanced regulatory scrutiny by various regulatory bodies and authorities throughout the world. Countries are also entering into bilateral treaties to make the respective companies liable for their acts or omissions.
The report further states that as on date many multinational companies and technology giants are avoiding tax liabilities and are avoiding compliance with various regulatory requirements. This would not be an easy task in the year 2013.
These predictions and projections seem very accurate as many cases were settled in the year 2012. These include cases and settlements pertaining to Walmart probe, UK tax avoidance case, unauthorised sale of e-book in China, e-book price escalation lawsuit, EU-publishers e-books price fixing settlement, regulatory scrutiny by EU and US, etc.
In the present case, FTC investigators were of the opinion that they didn’t find enough evidence to support complaints that Google unfairly favors its own services in search results. Google has also agreed to license certain patents to mobile phone rivals and stop a practice of including snippets from other websites in its search results.
To give effect to this settlement, Google will sign an agreement requiring the company to charge reasonable prices to license hundreds of patents deemed to be essential for rival mobile devices such as Apple Inc’s iPhone, BlackBerry and smartphones running on a Microsoft Corp’s Windows software.
Under the FTC resolution, Google’s rivals will now be able to request that their excerpts are left out of Google’s search results without having to fear that links to their sites will be penalised in Google’s search rankings. Google has further agreed to adjust the online advertising system that generates most of its revenue so marketing campaigns can be more easily managed on rival networks.