Google has persuaded the F.T.C. to give them a little more than a slap on the wrist!

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posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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So I am a Google fan, or have been up until lately when I learned that their shopping "Search" was not really a search at all but advertisements and everyone of those are paid Source,

So now they "Promise to be good" and the FTC charges might me dropped?



Two people briefed on the investigation said that some commissioners have asked for more time to consider possible sanctions after recent reports have portrayed Google as having persuaded the F.T.C. to give the company little more than a slap on the wrist.
NY Times


So some how they persuaded the FTC to allow them to just change their practices and possibly avoid a fine.



If there is a settlement, Google will avoid a possible fine of as much as 10 percent of its annual global revenue, about $37.9 billion last year. It would also avoid a guilty finding that could restrict its activities in Europe
NY Times


So after reading this yesterday:



After a year of investigation, FTC investigators recommended charging Google under antitrust laws after agents found that Google illegally abused its power as the dominant search engine. Now, however, Google may be ending the FTC probe and heading off any pending legal action by promising to change and be good.
After all, Santa knows who’s naughty and who’s nice.

Google, which makes over $100 million each and every day, has added so much advertising and sponsored results in the past year that some have called its actions a “war on free clicks.” Most troubling of all are the prominent positioning of Google’s own services — especially for local search and shopping results — at the top of Google search engine result pages (SERPs).

Now, however, Google is planning to change its business practices in at least two ways, according to a Bloomberg story. The search giant will apparently promise to stop copying data from “rival websites” and will give advertisers the ability to compare data on Google ad campaigns with data on marketing efforts on other sites and search engines.

It’s not clear, however, whether those two actions would address a key issue: Google favoring its own solutions in its search results — such as content featured in Google+, its social network.

For example, Yelp has been one of the most prominent opponents of Google, with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman saying last year that “Google has acted anti-competitively in at least two key ways: by misusing Yelp review content in their competing Places product and by favoring their own competing Places product in search results.”

That’s also a concern of the European Union, which has investigated similar issues in the travel space, where Expedia and TripAdvisor have complained about anti-competitive behavior by Google in flight and travel search results.

When I contacted Google for a statement, a representative emailed me with this:
“We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have.”

Read more at venturebeat.com...


And now the article in the NY times, which states apparently the competitors "AKA Microsoft" are upset and call for google to be fined.



For almost two years, the F.T.C. has been studying whether Google’s dominant search engine intentionally produces search results that favor its own commerce and other services. Companies with competing search engines as well as commercial sites that specialize in airline ticket information or shopping have complained that Google has stifled competition by its actions.

Those competitors have reacted with outrage over the last week to reports that the F.T.C. planned not to file charges of antitrust violations or unfair competition. The commission was prepared to accept Google’s written assurances that it would alter some practices related to search, according to the reports.

Google’s competitors, which have been urging regulators to take action, stepped up their protests after the recent reports. That outrage has apparently reverberated in the halls of the commission, where displeasure has grown at the portrayals of the commission as having been cowed by the technology giant.

Full NY Times Article

I do not believe after all of this the FTC would just allow Google to say they will be "Good" this time and change how they do business. I say either Google bribed someone, blackmailed, or something...they do have means to gather some dirt...since everything Google (Youtube, Gmail, Google, Android phones) is tied together with your email.

What do you think ATS?




posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by Djayed
 

What a shock.

That in an Oligarchy like the US, a giant corporation is dictating terms to the government.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:08 PM
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I don't see how shopping search ads screw users, of course Microsoft will say that. Results are results and it works well, who cares if they earn from a service they provide? I don't know why it's so shocking that a company is earning money, Microsoft just want to push Bing.
edit on 18-12-2012 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by SpearMint
I don't see how shopping search ads screw users, of course Microsoft will say that.


Because they are ALL paid ads and not real search results...google has labeled this now on their shopping search pages you have to look for it though..

You see this statement at the bottom now:



Google is compensated by these merchants. Payment is one of several factors used to rank these results. Tax and shipping costs are estimates.
edit on 12/18/2012 by Djayed because: added in quote from google



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by Djayed

Originally posted by SpearMint
I don't see how shopping search ads screw users, of course Microsoft will say that.


Because they are ALL paid ads and not real search results...google has labeled this now on their shopping search pages you have to look for it though..

You see this statement at the bottom now:



Google is compensated by these merchants. Payment is one of several factors used to rank these results. Tax and shipping costs are estimates.
edit on 12/18/2012 by Djayed because: added in quote from google


And? You search for a product, you find the product. It works. It doesn't cost YOU anything, people have nothing to complain about.
edit on 18-12-2012 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by Djayed
 


This doesn't make sense to me.

What did google actually do wrong?

Are companies suppose to publish advertisement for their competitors?


eta: Google is being of extorted and coerced. It ain't right. The crimes are against google, not by google.
edit on 12/18/2012 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:26 PM
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reply to post by Djayed
 



For almost two years, the F.T.C. has been studying whether Google’s dominant search engine intentionally produces search results that favor its own commerce and other services. Companies with competing search engines as well as commercial sites that specialize in airline ticket information or shopping have complained that Google has stifled competition by its actions.


So let me get this straight, Google is being vilified for giving top priority to its investors? And their competitors are claiming that they are being "anti-competitive"? Please...

If you want your search engine to be superior to Google, than make it better. Complaining that "Google is better than us, therefore they need to stop doing as well so we can play catch up" is kind of ridiculous.

Whats next is someone going to complain that Wizards of the Coast has a monopoly on the trading card and tabletop market?

ETA: So if I pay someone to show my products or the prices for my products over that of someone else's, this is somehow wrong?
edit on 18-12-2012 by Openeye because: (no reason given)
edit on 18-12-2012 by Openeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by Djayed
 


This doesn't make sense to me.

What did google actually do wrong?

Are companies suppose to publish advertisement for their competitors?


eta: Google is being of extorted and coerced. It ain't right. The crimes are against google, not by google.
edit on 12/18/2012 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)


The issue is the consumer is lead to believe they are actually searching all sites that sell the searched item and the best price from the search will be the resultant. That wasn't what was happening. Now it's clear, if you use their search for shopping, you will only get results from merchants who pay Google.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by SpearMint
reply to post by Openeye
 


Because the results will not return the most popular item purchased or least expensive. I would use the shopping search to find the product I wanted at the lowest cost but it has morphed into a big AD without you knowing,

A search engine is supposed to be an un-biased list of results filtered by traffic, or any specific filter that YOU chose. Instead of getting the results you should, you are getting results based on what someone paid for. If you do not see the wrong in that, then Google and companies with the same practices are doing their job and keeping you blind to their practices.

Googles motto was don't be evil, they are being evil and you are praising them for it!
edit on 12/18/2012 by Djayed because: added an extra reply to
edit on 12/18/2012 by Djayed because: (no reason given)
edit on 12/18/2012 by Djayed because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by Djayed
reply to post by SpearMint
 


Because the results will not return the most popular item purchased or least expensive. I would use the shopping search to find the product I wasted at the lowest cost but it has morphed into a big AD without you knowing,

A search engine is supposed to be an un-biased list of results filtered by traffic, or any specific filter that YOU chose. Instead of getting the results you should, you are getting results based on what someone paid for. If you do not see the wrong in that, then Google and companies with the same practices are doing their job and keeping you blind to their practices.

Google motto was don't be evil, they are being evil and praising them for it!


You need to stop thinking of them as ads, because they're not. They're paid search results, it's a catalogue that you're searching through. It's not advertised as anything else, it is what it is, they're doing nothing wrong.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by Bilk22
 


How were they lead to believe that?
Did google say that the search results were returned without bias?



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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I'm confused. Advertisements are created to sell you a product, which cater to your wants, likes, needs, and use those angels to make you notice them.

Google is giving you the option to search stores.

What is it going to base it's search criteria on other than the advertisements?

Now I understand the grief google gives when you do a normal web search and only find useless provided results, which serve to make you scream at the monitor and type a string of expletives around your search terms, which oddly finds the somethingwaful forums inevitably every time, and punch your keyboard. Sorry about that space bar...

I mean if you're searching stores, you're searching nothing but advertisements.

Walk into a wallmart... "As advertised" it's not like you're going to walk into a Harvey Norman store and go "Holy Crap, what a coincidence, I was just after a Large Plasma TV!!!"

You go there because they advertise products you want. Or need. But you don't watch an advert for CoCo Pops and go "Ahh I could do with a new piano!".

So it makes sense to me that google, who correlate results specific to the terms you search, would apply advertisements to the algorithm which provides you the results you are looking for.

Companies pay for advertisement all the time, if you get a services, it's usually as a result of good advertisement before word of mouth.

Now you'll excuse me as I need to go pour a nice cold coca-cola, hmm hmm, refreshing.. It sure does add life.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by Bilk22
 


How were they lead to believe that?
Did google say that the search results were returned without bias?


This is what a search result should be:




A web search engine is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERP's). The information may be a specialist in web pages, images, information and other types of files. Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories. Unlike web directories, which are maintained only by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.


Wiki



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by SpearMint
 

But they are ads, if they were JUST search results you would get un-biased results, but since are paid you might not get the best price or the best quality because someone paid for you to see them over the one you should have seen.

It is really sad you people do not understand this.

And the bigger problem was they were not telling anyone and pretended it was normal search results....



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by winofiend
Advertisements are created to sell you a product, which cater to your wants, likes, needs, and use those angels to make you notice them.

Google is giving you the option to search stores.

What is it going to base it's search criteria on other than the advertisements?


I mean if you're searching stores, you're searching nothing but advertisements.

Walk into a wallmart... "As advertised" it's not like you're going to walk into a Harvey Norman store and go "Holy Crap, what a coincidence, I was just after a Large Plasma TV!!!"

You go there because they advertise products you want. Or need. But you don't watch an advert for CoCo Pops and go "Ahh I could do with a new piano!".

So it makes sense to me that google, who correlate results specific to the terms you search, would apply advertisements to the algorithm which provides you the results you are looking for.

Companies pay for advertisement all the time, if you get a services, it's usually as a result of good advertisement before word of mouth.


The purpose of searching the web is not to constrict you to a limitation of one store, if your results limit your search to say "10" stores you are missing the other 36 that you could get cheaper shipping or a lower price. A search engine results and the ads they show should be two different things.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by Djayed
 



The purpose of searching the web is not to constrict you to a limitation of one store, if your results limit your search to say "10" stores you are missing the other 36 that you could get cheaper shipping or a lower price. A search engine results and the ads they show should be two different things.


But Google is not obligate to have a search engine devoid of bias, there is no law or regulation which dictates such.

In spirit I can kind of understand the "outrage", however they have every right to prioritize search results according to those who pay for the advertising. If you don't like their results use another search engine, Google does not own rule the internet, we do.
edit on 18-12-2012 by Openeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:58 PM
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reply to post by Openeye
 


No but they are required to tell you that they are doing it per the FTC.. I would expect the search engine to show on the very top ads related to your search, but when it boils down to it I am searching for web results not Google's web results.

I have started using other search engines for my Shopping searches. I use Google daily, including their web browser. But their business practices are starting to be everything they were against. Google used to be a corporation I could respect.

I am starting not to respect them at all, and when I do not respect an organization I do not give them my business. I refuse to buy Apple products because they have horrible business practices and people follow Apple like a religion and it is sick. You can buy into believing this behavior is OK but it is adding to the acceptance of advertising integration into our normal lives and everyone thinks it is OK.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 10:43 PM
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Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by Bilk22
 


How were they lead to believe that?
Did google say that the search results were returned without bias?


Yeah I believe they said something like "Get the best deals around on the products you want the most" or something like that. It's gone now so go look it up yourself. I'm sure it's out there somewhere.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by Bilk22
 


"Best deals" would be an opinion. Opinions do not have to be factual.

Best, cheapest, greatest, etc. All opinions.

practice
practice2
practice3

Sorry to be patronizing, but I really dislike how laws are made to rob people by big gov. If we cannot stand together, against these corrupt law makers, we will fall.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by Djayed
 



No but they are required to tell you that they are doing it per the FTC.


This may be true, but again I fail to see how this is so extremely unethical. I hate to bring up card games again but if I go into a store and ask for a booster pack and the guy at the counter says "4 dollars" and then I ask him "Is there somewhere else I can go to get a better deal" and he says "No" despite actually knowing that there is a place where I can get them cheaper, does that make the store owner unethical? Does the man have a obligation to inform me of cheaper prices? No, he just wants my business, hes not going to tell me "Sure go give someone else your money, here is the address" he would be the worst business man ever.


But their business practices are starting to be everything they were against. Google used to be a corporation I could respect.


I can kind of see where your coming from here, but where does Google's primary stream of revenue come from? I would assume from advertising? I can't think of many physical products that Google produces. Not to mention that Google has not thrown the little man under the bus, they support wholeheartedly user generated and non profit content.


I am starting not to respect them at all, and when I do not respect an organization I do not give them my business. I refuse to buy Apple products because they have horrible business practices and people follow Apple like a religion and it is sick.


Apples and oranges (no pun intended). Apple is arguably engaged in a form of slavery, contracting out to extremely unethical corporations which treat their employees like machines, and who turn out overly expensive goods made with cheap materials and cheap labor. Google on the other hand has done none of these things, they don't have Chinese children debugging code for them at their headquarters.


You can buy into believing this behavior is OK but it is adding to the acceptance of advertising integration into our normal lives and everyone thinks it is OK.


Well we live in a material world, where the allocation of products for our enjoyment and everyday life is not only common but necessary. I agree that advertising can be a bad thing, Apple is a great example of this, they use some of the most deceptive adverting tactics out there, which make people believe they have to have their product or somehow they are not complete as an individual. I think I could say I hate modern advertising. But that does not make all advertisement bad, one can have honest informative advertising without appealing to the emotions or the vanity of the populace.





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