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Google will license 'essential' Motorola patents, ending FTC probe

Google has reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to bring the body's 19-month antitrust investigation into the search giant to a close, according to Apple Insider. Part of the settlement hinged on Google's agreement to license certain standard-essential patents (SEPs) it acquired during its purchase of Motorola Mobility to its competitors in the mobile market, including Apple. The company will still need to work out terms and fees with others wanting to utilize the patents, but can't be unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory in the process.

The other aspect of the FTC's probe involved concern that Google was promoting its own content and services over competitors' in search results. The commission concluded that Google hadn't been involved in the practice, despite claims by its search rivals such as Microsoft. It did, however, make the company agree not to reprint content from other sites, such as Yelp, in ways that could confuse users into thinking it was owned or created by Google.

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