FTC expands Google antitrust probe to Google+

by on January 16th, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission(FTC), which has been conducting an antitrust probe on Google to find out whether or not the search giant manipulates its search results to favor its own products, has expanded the probe to include Google+, the search giant’s new social networking site.

Google has been accused of using its search engine against its rivals and for marketing its own products.
The company announced on Tuesday that it is rolling out new features for its search engine, that would make it more personalized and show posts and photos shared by Google+ users, within the search results.

“We believe that our improvements to search will benefit consumers by better surfacing social content, and the great thing about the openness of the internet is that if users don’t like our service they can easily switch to another site,” Google said in a statement.

Twitter slammed Google after the company heard about Google’s upcoming search engine changes. The microblogging site stated that that Google’s new features would make it tougher for people to find the breaking news often shared by Twitter users.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked the FTC to look at Google’s decision to include information from Google+ in Google’s search results, according to the Reuters. A Google spokesman, however, denied these reports and said that the Federal Trade Commission had not asked about Google+ or indicated it was looking into the new social network.

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