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The Boston Globe

Business

Google, FTC talk settlement that avoids search issues

WASHINGTON — Google and federal officials are discussing a deal that would end nearly two years of investigation into claims of monopolistic behavior by the company without addressing the most serious claim — that it intentionally manipulates search results to harm competitors.

The talks between Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz and top Google executives are focusing on less controversial issues, such as how the company uses patents and how it displays comments collected from other Internet services, said several people who were familiar with the talks and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said that although allegations of search bias could reemerge should the talks collapse, they are not central to the discussions.

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