Google competitors ask firm to stop 'artificially' favouring own search results

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 08:20 hrs

Internet search giant Google should allow the government to monitor its search code, and stop artificially favoring its own results, a coalition of major competitors has told the US trade commission., which represents Expedia, Trip Advisor, Kayak, Nokia, Microsoft and several other tech companies, revealed its list of "remedies" for Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior.

The move came as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considers filing antitrust charges or negotiating a settlement with the company by year's end, Politico reports.

According to the report, Tom Barnett, counsel for FairSearch member Expedia, who formerly headed the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, said that Google's own products should be subject to the same algorithm as other products.

"Given Google's past conduct, Google should not be able to hard-code Google Finance, Google Shopping, Google Travel and its other products as top search results," he added.

FairSearch members have discussed with FTC staff and officials several ideas for how Google ought to alter its behavior, and possibly its structure, to address concerns over alleged abuse of monopoly power in search and search advertising, the report said.

The group has also requested Google be barred from entering into exclusive contracts in search advertising and prohibited from "scraping" content, such as restaurant reviews, from other sites and using it in Google products, it added.

The FTC has been probing Google for over 18 months in the wake of a wide array of allegations that the company engages in anti-competitive practices. (ANI)

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