Google has a monopoly on search. There’s no denying it, though what the company does with that power is a little less clear. We’d like to think Google still stands by its “Don’t Be Evil” slogan, but a new report suggests that might not be the case.
The Wall Street Journal managed to get its hands on a piece of the Federal Trade Commission’s 2012 investigation into Google, and it isn’t pretty. The search giant reportedly clashed with competitors like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Amazon after it was caught stealing content from their sites. For example, Google used Amazon rankings for its own competing service.
When those companies complained and asked Google to remove their content they got a threat in response. Specifically, the FTC says Google threatened to remove these sites from its search results. The 2012 report calls this a “harm to consumers and to innovation,” and we’d have to agree it looks that way. Thankfully, Mountain View eventually tweaked its policy to include an opt-out option, and the investigation ended in 2013.
A few years later Google still dominates search. Hopefully the company’s been on better behavior since then, though this new report doesn’t exactly fill us with hope.