Internet giant Google Inc. said it would change its review placement policy for a business listing service in the midst of a probe by U.S. regulators.
Google did not mention the Federal Trade Commission investigation in announcing the change, but said in an online posting that "based on careful thought about the future direction of Places pages, and feedback we've heard over the past few months, review snippets from other Web sources have now been removed from Place pages."
Other firms have complained that Google has been stealing content to combine reviews written for other Web sites with the service that lists local businesses for users, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
As such, on Thursday, a page that once displayed 3,000 reviews for a New York restaurant was cut down to 60 reviews, the newspaper said.
Stephen Kaufer, chief executive officer of Web site TripAdvisor called Google's move "a positive sign, but I'd love for them to come out with a statement that 'we promise not to do it again.'"
Google said the previous policy was in place to "shuttle" users "to the best sources as quickly as possible," while rivals said it was an opportunity for Google to steal content and direct users to Google services, rather than to a competitor's.