Google also agreed to no longer request sales bans when suing companies which infringe on patents that are essential to ensuring interoperability, also known as standard essential patents, the FTC said. Microsoft and other Google rivals have pressed the FTC to bring a broad antitrust case against Google similar to the sweeping Justice Department litigation against Microsoft in the 1990s.
The news had little impact on Google shares, which closed up 42 cents at $723.7, as most investors had expected the FTC probe to conclude without inflicting major damage.
“I never saw any real likelihood that the feds were going to insert themselves between one of the most popular brands in the world and the constituency that adores it,” said Whit Andrews, an analyst for Gartner Inc.
Meanwhile smaller internet firms such as Nextag have complained about Google tweaking its Web search results to give prominence to its own products.