Google extends commitments from antitrust case with FTC

Google extends commitments from antitrust case with FTC
© Getty

Google says that it will extend commitments it made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2012, keeping in place an agreement it struck to quell the agency's antitrust concerns.

The search giant says it will continue to let third-party search websites, like Bing, access Google’s AdWords application programming interface to help bolster their own services.

Matthew Sucherman, Google’s deputy general counsel, said on Tuesday that the company believed that the decision would “provide continued flexibility for developers and websites.”

Google’s agreement with the FTC was set to expire on Wednesday, and comes as technology firms deal with new criticism over their size and market dominance.

The firm also agreed to let other web firms opt-out from letting the search firm scrape information from their platforms. Yelp filed a complaint with the FTC in September claiming that Google had already violated the agreement by taking images of local businesses from Yelp’s platform and displaying them in Google’s own search results.

Google said that it worked to immediately fix the issue, but some of the firm’s critics are still skeptical.

“The day after Christmas, Google announces it is voluntarily & indefinitely extending its 2012 FTC “punishment,” Luther Lowe, Yelp’s vice president of public policy, tweeted on Tuesday.  

“4 months ago, Yelp provided hard evidence to the FTC that Google was violating its 2012 promises 500k times per hour.”