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Does Google Skew Search Results At The Expense Of Rivals?

Does Google Skew Search Results At The Expense Of Rivals?

Based on a previously undisclosed report by staffers at the Federal Trade Commission, Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) manipulated search results to benefit its own products and services, even when they weren't the most relevant for users, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening.

The publication added that the FTC's bureau of competition found evidence that Google altered its ranking criteria and "scraping" content from other sites in areas of shopping, travel and local businesses. Google is alleged to have also deliberately demoted rivals.

As an example, the FTC staff discovered that a search for flights yielded Google's own flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options.

The report comes at a time when Google is increasing its presence in hotel listings that compete with TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ: TRIP) and Expedia Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE).

In 2011, Google's Eric Schmidt told a Senate panel that he was not aware of any "strange boosts or biases" in Google's search results. He said specifically "I can assure you we've not cooked" the results.

Shares of GOOG and GOOGL were slightly higher in Friday's premarket.


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Posted-In: Federal Trade Commission Google Search Online Travel Agencies Search Wall Street JournalNews Rumors Media Best of Benzinga

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