FTC & EU Settlements On Google Anti-Trust Issues To Happen Next Month?

The European Union appears to be closer to agreement with Google about anti-trust concerns relating to search, and action seems likely to happen in January. Meanwhile, the expected US Federal Trade Commission ruling that was supposed to happen before the end of this year now looks delayed into at least next month.

Multiple sources are reporting that the EU and Google are nearing an agreement, with the matter to be settled in January. From Bloomberg:

“I have decided to continue with the process towards reaching an agreement” to settle the investigation, [EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin] Almunia said in an e-mailed statement. “Since our preliminary talks with Google started in July, we have substantially reduced our differences.”

Bloomberg’s story also said that Almunia expected to get a “detailed commitment text” from Google next month, in January. Reuters reports the same. The statement came after a meeting with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

AllThingsD has the full statement that was released (though has yet to be posted on Alumnia’s site), and author Liz Gannes also says that the expected FTC ruling will “likely be tomorrow,” presumably according to sources she’s talking with.

However, a few hours after we posted, Bloomberg reported that the FTC decision isn’t likely to happen until next year, citing two unnamed sources. We’ve updated our headline to reflect this.

The FTC ruling, or settlement, or agreement or whatever it ends up being called is expected to cause Google to make it easier to port ad campaigns out of its own systems and to allow publishers easier access to prevent being included within Google’s vertical search engines.

For more, see our story from yesterday:

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Features: Analysis | Google: Antitrust | Top News

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.restivo.5 Peter Restivo

    What about pay per rank? Pay per rank is the clearest case of anti-trust violation I have ever seen

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Yahoo! News is reporting late tonight/early this morning that the FTC may delay its decision by several weeks. I think the article hints that heavy criticism of the perceived wrist-slap may have played into that delay.

  • Alok Pandey

    Interesting Post! SEO Delhi

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