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January 6, 2013

FTC’s pact with Google could affect other patent disputes

The Federal Trade Commission carried out its investigation to determine whether Google had manipulated its search results to favour its own services

By CBR Staff Writer

The move from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to close the 20-month antitrust probe into Google‘s web-search business may have a larger impact on other patent disputes involving major technology firms.

Under the deal that Google reached with the FTC, the search engine company will allow its competitors access to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms to patents on important technologies required to manufacture popular devices.

These include smartphones, laptop and tablet computers, and gaming consoles.

Google had also agreed to provide more flexibility to online advertisers to simultaneously administer ad campaigns on its AdWords platform and on rival ad platforms.

Google said that the agreement with the FTC establishes clear standards for patents in the future.

Apart from the FTC, Google is also trying to resolve a similar antitrust investigation in Europe, and a resolution to that case is anticipated to be released soon.

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