Google may avoid US probe into 'dominance in search results'
Google is likely to avoid an investigation by US authorities into claims that it the firm manipulates its search rankings to give preference to its own sites, while also pushing down competitors' rankings, says a report.
The crucial issue at present is whether the Federal Trade Commission decides to legally challenge Google on "search manipulation".
But, according to people intimately involved in the case, the FTC is hesitating on whether it is willing to go to bat on that particular and critical point, Fox News reports.
According to the report, people familiar with matter say that Google has persuasively argued to some of the FTC commissioners, specifically Tom Rosch, that search is shifting from delivering text links to other Web sites to delivering robust and helpful information on the spot.
For example, when someone searches for an address, instead of providing a list of links to pages on various mapping sites, such as for AOL's MapQuest, Google surfaces a clickable image of the map itself from its own mapping service.
According to the report, the firm is asserting that this is a better experience for consumers, even if it disadvantages other sites.
The center of its argument is that it is doing what's best for users, and it just so happens that it's also good for Google properties, the report said.