FTC found Google to be anti-competitive, but still settled in 2013

Windows Phone users will know that Google has done everything in its power to block the progress of the OS, including at various times limiting our access to YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, NFC payments in USA and dropping updates for Waze, behaviour which is inconsistent with the search giant’s +80% smartphone market share and +95% search market share.

It seems our personal experience however lines up with those of some website owners, who also experience Google as a predatory company, as confirmed by a recently leaked secret report by the FTC.

Prior to 2013 the US Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Google for violating antitrust rules and from the leaked documents the commission found Google illegally took information from rival websites to improve its own search results and placed restrictions on websites and advertisers. They also used a special algorithm to rank their own less relevant results ahead of the results from competing web sites such as Travel Advisor.  At the time the report recommended suing Google for several of its business practices.

Google eventually however emerged from the multi-year investigation scot-free when the commission concluded in 2013 that Google had not manipulated its search results to hurt rivals.

As Windows Phone owners I think its pretty clear Google has not changed its business practices in the slightest, and likely will not until it faces a serious regulation threat.

Hopefully the European Commission will be the one to finally muzzle Google before it causes even more damage to healthy competition.