Google will soon agree to a settlement over patents and a voluntary change to its search practices, potentially bringing a long-running antitrust probe towards resolution, Bloomberg reports. Unnamed sources say that the FTC will soon close its investigation into Google's potentially-skewed search results, and that Google will change some of its business practices in accordance with the deal we saw here, which means Google would make it easier to migrate ad campaigns to rival services and reduce the use of reviews from other sites. It will also apparently be settling accusations that it misused its Motorola patent portfolio in an anti-competitive way, though we don't know the details of that settlement.
Several probes — involving patents, monopolistic behavior, and privacy issues — have been announced in both the US and Europe, and a number will still remain in progress. If Google announces a deal, it could also take time to be officially approved. This does, however, potentially mark a step towards resolving some of the conflict between the FTC and Google, though depending on the terms, it also opens the door further to complaints that the FTC has been convinced to give Google a mere "slap on the wrist" in punishment.
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