The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently dropped its lawsuit against Google regarding supposed antitrust practices in the design of its search engines. Google has been accused of promoting its own products over competitors when it comes to search engine results.
It appears that Google can now go forward with transforming its search engines without fear of legal reprisal. Some critics suggest that this will give Google the freedom to do anything it wants regarding designs to the search engines.
The complaint has been that in recent years, searches made in Google components will often come up with results that reference other Google tools. This has long been viewed by competitors as a way of attempting to dominate the search engine market. And with the FTC seeming to drop its investigation into the company's practices, Google may more aggressively continue advertising its own products.
When facing an institution as formidable as the FTC, no sort of litigation is going to be simple. Though Google denies that this occurred, it is quite possible that the threat of FTC action prevented Google from going forward with marketing many of its new products. Delays such as this likely cost millions or even billions of dollars in revenue.
Though this is obviously an extreme example of litigation, every lawsuit that a business faces can be potentially costly. It's for this reason that experienced business attorneys are required to address all the legal needs for small businesses, partnerships and corporations. Government agencies will not quit pursuing an investigation without a convincing argument.
Source: Hartford Business, "With regulators standing down, Google prepares Search 2.0," by David Goldman, Jan. 14, 2013
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