Google dodges FTC's antitrust bullet (week in review)

Web giant agrees to make minor changes to its business practices, while Microsoft rolls out IE security fix. Also: Pink iPhones?

Google/FTC

After a lengthy investigation into Google's business practices by the Federal Trade Commission, the Web giant has agreed to make minor changes to resolve complaints by competitors and advertisers. It avoided any fines.

The commission found that Google's search results were not biased in favor of its own results in a way that was anti-competitive. However, the FTC did rule that Google must stop blocking the use of standard essential patents by competitors. The patents, which it acquired when it purchased Motorola, are used to comply with technical standards.

Google also agreed to remove restrictions on the use of AdWords, its search advertising platform, that make it harder for advertisers to coordinate their campaigns across multiple platforms.
•  What Google's settlement with the FTC means for users
•  Yelp calls FTC deal with Google a 'missed opportunity'
•  Gary Reback: FTC blew it with Google decision
•  EU: FTC decision on Google won't affect our case

More headlines

Microsoft issues fix for IE flaw that could allow PC hijack

One-click workaround designed to prevent attackers from gaining control of vulnerable Web browsers.
•  Microsoft's next Patch Tuesday won't resolve IE zero-day flaw
•  IE flaw may allow Windows PCs to be hijacked, Microsoft warns

Instagram one month later: No hint of lingering troubles

After the December debacle over new wording in Instagram's terms of service, traffic statistics suggest the photo-sharing giant has recovered nicely.
•  Instagram kicks off New Year's Eve with worldwide photo stream

iPhone 5S in pink? Watch for new colors in spring, analyst says

Analyst Brian White claims the next iPhone will get the same color selection as the iPod Touch and arrive in May or June. Oh, and there will be a range of sizes.

Samsung to sell first Tizen smartphone in 2013, report says

Tizen is an alternative Linux-based operating system seen as a more open platform that will rival Google's Android and Apple's iOS.
•  No, we don't really need another smartphone OS

Judge decides to keep Samsung sales data unsealed

The federal judge has, however, decided to delay publication of per-unit operating profit on two phones.
•  Evidence in Apple v. Samsung tossed for breaking the rules
•  Details of proposed sanctions emerge in Apple-Samsung case

Amazon apologizes for Netflix's Christmas Eve streaming outage

Amazon Web Services explains that the disruption occurred when data was accidentally deleted from the traffic apportion system.

Zynga puts PetVille and more out to pasture

In its battle to cut costs, the game studio has been forced to close the door on more than 10 of its online and app-based games.
•  Online services for Madden NFL 11, others get sacked

Huawei linked to plan to sell restricted equipment to Iran

A major partner of the Chinese telecommunications gear maker offered to sell $1.7 million worth of embargoed HP computer equipment to Iran, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Also of note
•  Anonymous: 'Expect us 2013'
•  Paris Apple Store robbed of more than $1 million in goods
•  Facebook revives NYE message service after security fix

 

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