According to Bloomberg the FTC may not bring Google to trial for the most serious allegations of abuse of their dominant search position.
The issue is apparently that the FTC is unsure that they have enough evidence to successfully prosecute Google for giving its own services top billing and pushing down the offerings of rivals. The FTC is also apparently looking at whether the ranking system’s benefits to consumers outweigh any harm suffered by rivals including NexTag Inc. and Kayak Software Corp, an argument Eric Schmidt put forward to defend surfacing information without directing browsers to the source of the information.
The FTC may still extract concessions from Google to resolve their concerns, but it seems main thrust of the investigation, which was threatened to break up Google, has been lost.
The European Union has however not shown any indication to be flagging in their pursuit of Google.
A final vote by the agency’s five commissioners on whether to file a lawsuit, and what its scope should be, is expected before the end of the month.
Read more at Bloomberg here.