Google Gets "Last Chance" to Settle With EU on Antitrust Abuses
May 21, 2012 2:50 PM
Google stands accused of boosting its ad services while suppressing rival ad vendors
A host of small competitors -- including TripAdvisor (Mass., U.S.), Opodo (pan-European), Hotmaps (German), Foundem (UK), and eDreams (UK) -- have filed complaints against Google Inc. (
) before antitrust regulators in the European Union accusing the smartphone operating system and search giant of
manipulating search results to boost its own offerings
. Google offers a variety of services, which are monetized through advertising.
Microsoft Corp. (
), an online advertising rival of Google's, is the largest firm to have complained to the EU about the alleged abuses. Currently there are 16 complaints against Google.
Net Market Share
] both estimate Google to control roughly 81 percent of the search market. Microsoft's Bing is thought be in second place with nearly 9 percent. In Europe Google's market share is estimated to reach even higher -- approximately 86 percent, according to
, another online statistics service.
An EU antitrust probe against Google
was first launched in 2010, looking into the claims of search abuse. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia says that like Google, the European Commission -- Europe's antitrust watchdog -- is eager to avoid fines or trouble from non-compliance.
The EU is concerned Google is abusing its dominant search position.
[Image Source: Google Images/Unknown]
The EU investigation found signs that Google did indeed abuse its dominant position. But the EU is willing to avoid formal charges if Google vows to change it ways and commits to a closely monitored program of compliance.
In a letter Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, Mr. Almunia writes:|
Google Inc. has repeatedly expressed to me its willingness to discuss any concerns that the Commission might have without having to engage in adversarial proceedings. This is why I am today giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies to address the concerns we have already identified.
In this letter, I offer Google the possibility to come up in a matter of weeks with first proposals of remedies...
If Google comes up with an outline of remedies which are capable of addressing our concerns, I will instruct my staff to initiate the discussions in order to finalise a remedies package. This would allow to solve our concerns by means of a commitment decision – pursuant to Article 9 of the EU Antitrust Regulation - instead of having to pursue formal proceedings with a Statement of objections and to adopt a decision imposing fines and remedies.
David Wood, a lawyer for lobbying group ICOMP whose members include Microsoft, Foundem, and Hotmaps, explains that non-compliance or failure to respond convincingly will likely bring on formal charges. He
, "This is effectively the Commission demanding remedies, failing that there will be a statement of objections (EU charge sheet)."
EU regulators say this is Google's "last chance". [Image Source: LucasFilm, Ltd.]
Europe's antitrust laws allow regulators to fine up to 10 percent of a violator's global revenue. While the EU is best known for its massive billion-plus dollar
fines of Intel
) for persistent antitrust violations, the region's regulators have also made peace with other investigation subjects.
As Mr. Almunia points out in his letter/threat to Google, International Business Machines, Inc. (
) faced a similar investigation in 2011, but was able to
resolve it without formal charges
being filed. While Google disputes wrongdoing in the case, it may wish to follow IBM's lead in order to avoid painful fines.
IBM wisely avoided EU fines in a similar probe, while Microsoft and Intel
"did things the hard way". [Image Source: Reuters/Rick Wilking]
Even if Google settles, Mr. Almunia says it will still face some other probes, such as an investigation into complaints that Google
"snooped" on private communications on unsecured networks
, using its "Street View" cars.
Europa [EU Press Release]
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
FCC: Google Knowingly Used Street View Cars to Snoop on Emails, Texts
May 1, 2012, 3:16 AM
IBM Attempts to Settle EU Antitrust Investigation by Offering Concessions
September 20, 2011, 10:36 AM
EU Investigates Google Amid Claims of Abusing a Dominant Position in Search
November 30, 2010, 9:35 AM
Google at the Center of New Antitrust Probe by EU
February 24, 2010, 12:08 PM
European Commission Fines Intel $1.45B
May 13, 2009, 9:04 AM
Science & Environment
February 20, 2017, 6:37 AM
The USA’s newest weather satellite sends first photos.
January 24, 2017, 6:41 AM
Netflix took a decision to invest in original content
January 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
Amazon Airborne Fulfillment Center – Your Merchandise Drop-Shipped from the Clouds
December 29, 2016, 5:00 AM
Amazon is experimenting with a new kind of grocery stores, Amazon Go
December 8, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
How Apple watch Series 2 differ from the S1
February 18, 2017, 5:37 AM
Comparison: NuVision vs Kindle Fire HD
February 18, 2017, 6:25 AM
What do you or do not know about Apple iPhone 7 &7+
February 8, 2017, 9:27 AM
ROG Maximus VIII – Gaming Motherboard with integrated RGB Headers
February 7, 2017, 7:59 AM
This Can / May Satisfy the Movie lovers
February 19, 2017, 9:52 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Interesting News of the Day
Feb 25, 2017, 7:37 AM
AMD and More
Feb 24, 2017, 5:55 AM
Feb 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Feb 21, 2017, 6:12 AM
Here is how startups are helping new parents in raising children
Feb 20, 2017, 6:45 AM
Around the World
Feb 18, 2017, 5:48 AM
News of Future
Feb 17, 2017, 6:30 AM
Amazon parachutes May Float Packages to Customers
Feb 16, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you Can Watch Facebook on Your TV
Feb 15, 2017, 7:42 AM
Feb 14, 2017, 5:36 AM
Razer Blade Stealth – Little Kaby Lake Powerhouse
Feb 13, 2017, 7:50 AM
Android 7.0 Nougat 7.0 Update Bring Less Battery Life for Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge
Feb 12, 2017, 7:45 AM
Apple iPhone 8 – OLED Display & Wireless Charging
Feb 11, 2017, 8:09 AM
Feb 10, 2017, 6:15 AM
Feb 9, 2017, 6:00 AM
Eye catching news
Feb 8, 2017, 6:16 AM
Some World News
Feb 7, 2017, 6:15 AM
Feb 6, 2017, 10:11 AM
Feb 5, 2017, 7:27 AM
Notes and News
Feb 4, 2017, 5:53 AM
Feb 3, 2017, 5:30 AM
Feb 2, 2017, 7:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information