Google, FTC Close to a Deal

Google is close to emerging largely unscathed from a two-year federal probe of its Web-search business, people familiar with the matter said, a result likely to disappoint rivals that were hoping the Internet giant would become mired in antitrust litigation.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission could agree to end its investigation as soon as this week, in response to several voluntary changes that Google will agree to make to its search practices to satisfy some of the agency’s concerns, according to one of the people briefed on the matter. That would mean Google wouldn’t have to sign a so-called consent decree, a formal settlement with the agency in which the company would agree to certain terms, said the people familiar with the probe.

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