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November 02, 2012

FTC Set to Sue Google

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

While Googlehas been working to make its products that much better and that much easier to use, the company has also taken some steps that have rubbed certain people the wrong way. In fact, there are several times when Google (News - Alert) has been accused of copying other company’s works and it appears that in the most recent case the Federal Trade Commission agrees with those charges. The FTC (News - Alert) staff report that was issued earlier this week is urging the commission to launch a lawsuit against Google for violating the U.S.’s anti-trust laws.

The move behind this particular lawsuit appears to be the fact that Google actually tried to stop some of its competitor’s activities through the courts. The search giant actually asked the courts to halt opponents’ sales because some of their opponents were supposedly using technology that the computing giant had already patented.

The claim that one company or another is stealing patents from one another is really nothing new. Apple (News - Alert), Google and other companies that are involved in the smartphone business have been suing each other in circular firing squad fashion for quite a while now over various patent claims. There seems to be a bit of a difference when it comes to claims against the search agent and the FTC has taken up those complaints. Other companies have also complained that Google has used its brute strength to drive them out of vertical search areas like shopping and travel. 

This is also hardly the first time that the company has had a run in with the federal government. It almost certainly won’t be the last time they run afoul of the government as well. In the past, Google has agreed to several different settlements with the government to settle real and perceived infractions. Just last year, Google agreed to a $500 million settlement with the Justice Department for accepting illegal advertisements.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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