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Even if Google can settle it faces numerous more antitrust probes on other topics in the EU and U.S.

On Monday, Jonathan Todd, spokesman for the European Commission (EC) -- the European Union's (EU) market regulatory watchdog -- revealed that Google Inc. (GOOG) had reached out to the EC and promised to make serious changes to address allegations made by EU antitrust regulators.

I. EU Receives Google's Last Ditch Pitch

Mr. Todd told Reuters in a statement:

The Commission received a proposal from Google and is assessing it.

Google's spokesperson, Al Verney added:

Our proposal to the European Commission addresses their four areas of concern. We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case.

For Google -- who makes the world's most use mobile operating system, search, and internet advertising platforms -- it's been a bewildering ride with European antitrust regulators.  The company has been probed and threatened by the EU for over three years now.
Google fortified
Google has been warding off antitrust accusations from Microsoft, who runs the smaller rival "bing" search service. [Image Source: Fast Company]

The company can largely thank Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) for its EU antitrust woes.  Microsoft has led two key coalitions -- The FairSearch Coalition, whose members also include Expedia Inc. (EXPE) and TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), and ICOMP, whose members also include Foundem, Hot-map, Streetmap, and NexTag -- both of which filed complaints about Google, claiming that Google boosts the ranks of its own services when consumers use its search engine.

While this might sound like smart business, Microsoft alleges it's illegal, and it could be right due to Google's dominant position in the search market and the way EU antitrust laws are structured.

Also, Google is accused of "scraping" or gathering results from its competitors’ services using automated scripts to improve the quality of its own results.  Google does not deny doing some scraping; pointing out that Microsoft does the same.  However, given that scraping is a gray area in current antitrust laws, it is possible that Google could be viewed as committing antitrust abuses when it scrapes smaller competitors.

web scraping
Google has also been accused of abusive scraping [Image Source: Google Images/unknown]

Part of the problem is that in the EU Google has traditionally held a much larger piece of the market.  In the EU Google has held as much as 86 percent of the search market; currently it has around an 80 percent market share, according to Reuters.  This is much higher than in the U.S., where its market share is currently around 67 percent, according to market research firm Comscore.

II. More Antitrust Woes Loom for Google

But whether or not Google has abused its dominant position to further its own services like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Flights, and Google Shopping, it's hard not to feel a bit of sympathy for the chaotic way in which antitrust punishments for Google have been handled in the EU.

After being given a "last chance to settle" in May 2012, Google in Feb. 2013 released a full response, which promised big changes as to how it was scraping and ranking search results.  The EC initially accepted that proposal.  But after Microsoft and others claimed that the punishments weren't severe enough, the EC went back on its approval of the Google settlement and demanded more flesh from Google.

EU books antitrust
 The EU "changed its mind" about Google's settlement offer. [Image Source: nrw.nl]

The EC is a pretty fearsome regulator.  It has nailed Microsoft Corp. (MSFTwith multiple fines totaling around $2.8B USD over Windows antitrust abuses, plus pounded Intel with a $1.45B USD fine for allegations of CPU price fixing.  Its policies have been so aggressive that Apple, Inc. (AAPL) opted to settle in the EU over e-book price fixing accusations, while fighting similar accusations in the U.S.

Google is clearly prepared for the worst.  It has set aside $500M USD to pay for potential antitrust fines in the EU.

To make matters worse for Google, the U.S. debate over Google's search engine tactics has yet again resurfaced.  After probing Google, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to a proposal where Google promised to make minor changes and would not face any fines.  The FTC even defended that decision against criticism by Microsoft and others who felt that the punishments were too light.  But recently the FTC has been rumored to be cooking up a fresh probe examining a new angle -- looking at whether Google's acquisition DoubleClick engaged in anticompetitive tactics in the search market.
Google Android
Google is also accused of using abusive tactics to promote its free Android operating system, which accounts for four out of every five smartphones and two out of every three tablets sold.

Google also faces allegation of abuse in the U.S. and EU of so-called "standards essential patents" (SEPs), which are supposed to be licensed under the "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) rules.  Last, but not least, Google also faces a privacy probe in the EU, in which EC regulators have demanded Google make changes by the end of this month.


Privacy is another major issue Google is being grilled on. [Image Source: Inquistr]

In short, even if Google manages to win over the EU with its settlement proposal and escape fines, it still faces at least two more major topics of antitrust investigation in the EU, U.S., and elsewhere.

Source: Reuters



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If You Cant Beat Em
By Reclaimer77 on 9/13/2013 5:09:21 PM , Rating: 3
Form BS coalitions and lobby the fine-happy EU to hammer your competition for you.

Disgusting.




RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By aurareturn on 9/13/2013 5:15:46 PM , Rating: 3
Oh please. I work in the search industry and Google has been using its own search engines to demote competitors and forcefully promote its own products for far too long.

Google is also stealing information from websites with their new "knowledge graph" search results. For example, it takes weather info from weather.com. This steals visits away from weather.com, a site dependent on ads. Google is doing this to many sites - taking visits away from them and basically stealing their content.

Google is the largest plagiarist in the world.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By spaced_ on 9/13/2013 5:42:42 PM , Rating: 1
I hear these accusations alot.

But never seen any proof to back it up. Can't find any information to suggest their weather data is 'stolen' at all.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By spaced_ on 9/13/2013 5:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Also, it makes no sense for Google to 'steal' results of something as comprehensive and quick to change as weather data. That'd be ridiculously inefficient and prone to error to crawl a weather site when there's an abundance of weather data providers out there with direct access to data or APIs.

And it seems I'm right: http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features_list.h...

Unless ofcourse - it's a big conspiracy. Of which I can't find any supporting information, even on Bing.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By ven1ger on 9/13/2013 9:19:43 PM , Rating: 3
The 'steal'-ing of weather data is just like the news stuff that news sites are probably complaining about. Just that Google is linking and displaying a snippet of information that most users only peruse, and to get more information they have to click on the link to go to the website. What the complaint seems to be is that most users don't bother going to the news/weather site to generate adclicks. Of course, they could always not allow Google to link to their pages but then of course, we don't hear that part because those sites fear that the clicks they do get from Google, will go to other sites. They don't mind that Google advertises for them a little but they also want the viewers to go to their websites to get the ad revenue, just plain greed.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By spaced_ on 9/13/2013 10:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Given that all evidence points to the fact Google uses a 3rd party weather service to gather their data, which I'm fairly sure they pay for, I'm not sure how they're 'stealing' anything weather related.

The news thing I don't understand, what exactly are they stealing? Google News has been around for a decade and news sites were rejoicing when it first came out. When the Belgian news corporations tried to cut off google entirely a few years back it didn't go so well for them once they realised google was indeed actually doing them a favour.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Reclaimer77 on 9/13/2013 7:48:31 PM , Rating: 1
Is that the kind of pathetic bullshit you "search industry" guys make up and spread around the water cooler? That Google, the search engine, is stealing?

Time to rethink your entire life...


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By sorry dog on 9/13/2013 9:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
So at what point is it stealing or not?

Maybe you think what is being "scraped" doesn't have much value... and it doesn't. But when it's done millions times a day even if the value of the information is 1/100 of cent it will certainly add up. This is definitely a subject area where the law is 20 years behind the times.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By harshbarj on 9/14/2013 4:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they get their weather data from weather underground as per their features list.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features_list.h...

You would be good to actually check for this stuff before posting nonsense. This took me less than 30 seconds to find, via Google. But I guess that does not make for a good conspiracy.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Alexvrb on 9/13/2013 11:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I don't remember too many Googlebots crying when it was MS being hammered over IE (which didn't even have overwhelming dominance by that point).


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Reclaimer77 on 9/14/2013 8:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yes you did. Are you serious? The only people on here that actually supported that nonsense were a handful of Europeans.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Alexvrb on 9/14/2013 6:29:40 PM , Rating: 1
"Form BS coalitions". Gee who are you referring to here? MS is clearly striking back after Google and Opera pushed for another round of fines for MS a while back. But I didn't see the Googlebots decrying Google's very similar role last go around. Many didn't like the EC's actions, but they gave Google and Opera themselves a pass.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Camikazi on 9/14/2013 10:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
You were not reading if you didn't see people complain. I love Google, I use almost every one of their services and yet I was complaining and pointing out at every chance how it was wrong of them to go after MS and add that stupid browser select thing. From the checking I did on forums so was most everyone else, I'm not sure where you were looking.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Bubbacub on 9/15/2013 4:02:38 PM , Rating: 3
handful of europeans?

more like a handful of unelected european beaurocrats sitting in brussels dreaming of ways to gift themselves more money


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By harshbarj on 9/14/2013 4:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is that when you buy a computer you have almost no choice in os (mac is the only other true choice, and I'd even debate that). When you buy a computer it has windows pre-installed. Google on the other hand is a choice, the user chooses to use it.

That's not saying I fully agree with the decision, but I do see their point.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Alexvrb on 9/14/2013 6:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
The recent fines I was referring to only involved RETAIL software. OEM wasn't affected. Oh, and you CAN buy or install other operating systems. Heck lots of people use lightweight almost-PCs now, too - such as Android, Chromebook, and iOS devices.

But frankly, that's irrelevant, since I was talking about the EC fining MS for bundling IE , rather than Windows itself. When an OEM preinstalls Windows and IE, that doesn't apply here either - the EC couldn't quite pull that one off. But Retail copies in the EU have a browser poll. Which is silly, because anyone capable of purchasing and installing a retail copy of Windows is capable of downloading a free alternative browser.

Yet, they repeatedly fined MS for bundling their own browser with their own OS, on retail copies of Windows in the EU. On top of this, MS offered to remove IE entirely, and the EC rejected this. They pushed them into offering a "browser poll" that offers competing browsers. I think retail copies of OS X should come with a browser poll too. :/


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By spaced_ on 9/15/2013 7:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I never really understood why the EC went after Microsoft on this issue in the first place. As an example, it's not like Apple and Google don't bundle software with their OS's and no one's restricted by Microsoft from installing another browser in Windows. Users have a choice.

It's completely nonsensical technically and logically speaking to me, but legally speaking is a different matter. Read up on the case, in particular some of the case history between the EC and Microsoft and some of the judgements and it'll start making more sense to you. My fear is the precedent it sets in law. There is no reason why the EC can't do exactly the same thing to Apple or Google or any other company in future simply because they have a large market share. Bring on the iOS/Android lawsuits I guess.

There were a few points in the case that were completely justified though. For example, Microsoft provided financial incentives to PC makers to NOT install alternative browsers . This is clearly anti-competitive.

So, was this Google's fault? Did they lobby for this? Not as far as I know. If you can provide some evidence that'd happily sway my opinion.

But this particular case against Google - another quite stupid one afaict - probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for Microsoft's lobbying. Given all of Microsoft's anti-competitive practices of the past 20+ years, do you really think they're doing it for any other reason than their own bottom line and to gain leverage in the market? Lobbying governmental entities can be far more powerful in the tech industry than innovating, or competing fairly. Particularly when a large majority of the legal industry don't understand what a computer is and you have to compare it to something like a car.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Kiffberet on 9/16/2013 7:47:47 AM , Rating: 2
What you're missing, is that Google are the dominant search engine in the EU. 80% of people use it, and with dominance in a market, comes a whole set of rules, which don't apply to other competitors.

"Users have a choice".

That school of thought doesn't apply, because you might love Google, so why change. Meanwhile, Google sells/shows you things that Goolge wants you to see. It may be all fine and dandy and you never complain, because you don't know that the service you searched for is a Google service. All other services are way down the search list or don't appear, because Google engineers the results to it's advantage.

The law takes a dim view of monopolies or market dominance, and for good reason.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By BRB29 on 9/16/2013 8:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
who cares?

Google is not harming the consumers. If they offer me the most refined products for the best bang-per-buck, then I don't care if everything comes from them. This doesn't mean that google is using its marketshare to force consumers. It means that their competitors are not competitive. Last I checked, google was the underdog starting out.

IKEA is knocking many businesses down everywhere they build a store. Does that mean they should go down in flames with lawsuits? No! they gave me decent quality products with smart designs and VERY AFFORDABLE.

What the EU is doing is forcing competitive companies to either help their rivals or slow down. This will end up like Intel where they will stall R&D just because their competitors are nowhere close. It saves them money and keep the lawsuits away.

What's next? Walmart should put Kmart ads in their store windows? It's not fair to Kmart that Walmart is dominating the retail business.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Kiffberet on 9/18/2013 8:16:52 AM , Rating: 2

quote:
who cares?


The EU lawmakers care! And they make the rules.

If you don't like them, you have to change them, or go do business in another part of the world.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By spaced_ on 9/22/2013 2:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah this was actually what I was hinting on. It makes no sense to me why you should punish a company for being too successful. If they have abused their position in the market big penalties should be warranted.

However it appears in EU law you will be penalised if you simply have a dominant position in the market. Abuse or no. It seems you are obliged to advertise your competitors products for free as part of your own products as a penalty.

I agree 110% if google skews results in search for their own products they should be penalised but I have seen no real evidence of that and nothing that technically other companies such as Microsoft and Apple do themselves in the same manner.

Other countries or regions penalise companies for anti-competitive behaviour. EU law is different. Companies are also penalised if they become too successful.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By ae00711 on 9/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Reclaimer77 on 9/14/2013 8:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
America researched, financed, and developed the Internet too. Remember that next time you hate on us "yanks".


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By retrospooty on 9/15/2013 9:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention almost all the tech in his life from the computer he typed that post on (whether desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone it all came from the USA), the tech behind the the electricity that powered it, to the tech behind the car he drives - all USA.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Camikazi on 9/14/2013 10:19:18 PM , Rating: 3
Give it time and your country will be one of the next ones outed for spying, remember US was first, Germany, UK and others were outed right after for doing the same. Here is one very good thing to remember, knowledge is power, and governments know that they need to control the knowledge in order to keep the power.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By Kiffberet on 9/16/2013 7:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
Except when it comes to Apple.

All the yanks on this website hate Apple.


RE: If You Cant Beat Em
By tanjali on 9/16/2013 4:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you so pro Corporate?!


The big picture
By Tony Swash on 9/14/2013 5:28:24 AM , Rating: 1
Google is an advertising company whose USP is the ability to taylor advertising and serve bespoke ads to viewers based on data Google possesses about the activities, interests and proclivities of each individual advert viewer.

Google gathers the data about user activity that it needs to add value to it's advertising product by striving to be a universal service level horizontally across all personal computing activity. The users of Google services are not it's customers.

Google's business environment is changing significantly because the amount that on average it can earn from each mobile user is less than it can earn from each desktop user. Therefore it needs to ensure that it's services are ubiquitous, Google has to be everywhere, and that when users interact with any of it's services the maximum amount of organised data as possible is collected about them.

Google+ is not an attempt to create a rival Facebook type social network, it is a mechanism that seeks to ensure that all users of Google's services are logged in to Google+ as often as possible so the maximum amount of organised data can be collected about them.

For Google all the world's data, no matter who it belongs to, or who collected and maintains it, is potential raw material for it's services. Google is very, very good at collecting and serving data in ways that are very useful to users and hence which encourages the maximum use of it's services.

It's default condition is collect all the world's data, that's one of it's self proclaimed goals, and the only way to block Google collecting data is to set out to actively block it. The fact that if Google collects and then serves data generated outside of Google it may devalue the product and undermine the business model of other businesses or even entire business sectors is both invisible and irrelevant to Google because it has no impact on it's own business model.

All personal computing activity, especially on the internet, that is outside of Google's data collection system and services is a threat to Google, one that it seeks to route around. It is a threat because uncollected data about user activity devalues the USP of it's advertising product.

Google's services are often very popular with users, they are free (who does not like free) and they are often very well implemented and hence very useful. But viewed on a large scale it is clear that Google's business model will always push it in the direction of prioritising it's own need for user data. Google's default condition is to priorities the collection of user data by ensuring that it can monitor users activity. The corollary of that default position is that Google will always place zero value on third party services and systems that block Google's ability to collect user data, or third party attempts to supply information services to users outside of Google's systems.

It used to be said that the 'Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it'. Similarly Google treats all third party activities which are opaque to it's data harvesting as damage and tries to route around it.

Whether Google is doing something that benefits everyone or doing something that is damaging to our collective interests cannot be assessed from either inside Google's own business model or from the point of view of an individual user of it's services. It has to be judged at a higher level where questions such as "would it be good if Google uses it's vast search footprint to drive out of business alternative purveyors of data services?" can be asked and answered.

Personally I think the answer to that one is obvious.




RE: The big picture
By deltaend on 9/14/2013 3:24:45 PM , Rating: 3
Oh Tony, Tony, Tony... that was a waste of a perfectly eloquently long explanation. Let's distill Google to the bottom line shall we?

1) Google is a huge and self sustaining ecosystem.
2) Ecosystems survive due to circular and sustaining demand (i.e. we need them and they need us).
3) EU wants money and they will get it, if not from Google than from another successful company. I bet they are just salivating over the possibilities right now.
4) Losers hate the winners which is why so many search companies hate Google. When the tables turn their tune will change.
5) It is more profitable to litigate than it is to compete in an open market. (i.e. the system is broken in this respect).
6) Google doesn't FORCE data out of anyone. Simple META tags setting ROBOTS correctly will stop Google and many other search engines from indexing your site.
7) We have all known how Google works and it's smart business. Since when did smart business become so smart that it has mutated into "anti-competitive" and need to be shot down? This seems like a great mentality to destroy every successful company and support stupid business practices. I say, survival of the fittest and smartest not the stupidest, laziest, and most litigious.
8)
quote:
Would it be good if Google uses it's vast search footprint to drive out of business alternative purveyors of data services?
and the obvious answer is yes. Survival of the fittest yields only the best solutions. We don't need the worst solutions surviving because they were given every advantage over better solutions, simply because they were a smaller company. Create something better, let it grow and compete in the open market. If it is worth our attention and our devotion it will get it. If it isn't, it will die and that's a good thing.
9) Your loyalties to Apple are clearly presented. I'm sure you will be singing a different tune when it is Apple's turn on the EU money chopping block and that's just plain hypocritical.


RE: The big picture
By Kiffberet on 9/16/2013 8:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
3) EU wants money and they will get it, if not from Google then from another successful company.


You don't know sh1t.
The EU gets the equivalent of over a trillion dollars each year from it's member states. It doesn't need the loose change from these law suits.

The EU doesn't like companies with market dominance, because they very rarely do good for everyone.

Just because they give software and services away for free, isn't always in everyone's best interest.


RE: The big picture
By Reclaimer77 on 9/16/2013 8:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
Fining companies does little to cure "market dominance" however. Unless you fine them so much they can barely remain profitable.

There's little Google can do at this point, even if it wanted to. People ARE going to choose Google as their default search engine, people choosing Google - willingly - is how they got to where they are today.

The EU is trying to "fix" problems that aren't really problems.

quote:
Just because they give software and services away for free, isn't always in everyone's best interest.


Soo they should charge a per-search use fee? Does anyone else do that? Instead of platitudes about peoples best interests, actually go into detail on what you would suggest.

I just have to reject this absurd notion that beating the competition and attaining large market-share is inherently wrong and MUST be stopped by a Government entity.


RE: The big picture
By retrospooty on 9/14/2013 3:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
"Google is an advertising company"

1 sentence and you have it all wrong. Google is a software company. They make great software and give most of it away for free making money from ads, placement, etc. That is not an advertising company, that is a software company. An advertising company creates ads for revenue (commercials, radio spots, slogans, billboards , ad campaigns, magazine, web art etc.

Tony, really you dont need to belittle a company that you dont understand. They arent a threat to Apple so you dont need to spin them down. They are what they are whether you get it or not.


RE: The big picture
By Tony Swash on 9/14/2013 4:04:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
1 sentence and you have it all wrong. Google is a software company. They make great software and give most of it away for free making money from ads, placement, etc. That is not an advertising company


So a company that makes all it's money from advertising, a company whose only paying customers are buyers of advertising, is not an advertising company?

I presume you don't buy any of Google's products (like I would guess 99.9% of all DT readers) and so as a consumer of their free services and free software it's easy to think that delivering that free stuff is what drives the company. But that's the wrong perspective, and it's especially wrong since Larry Page took over as CEO, because to understand any company you have to understand it's core business strategy and core business dynamic. And core to Google is the need to spread across all computing activity (and I say computing activity and not the net because of the Chrome off-line apps initiative), to collect as much data as possible and to be present everywhere ready to serve ads.That basic drive is what stitches together everything of import that Google does.

quote:
1) Google is a huge and self sustaining ecosystem.
2) Ecosystems survive due to circular and sustaining demand (i.e. we need them and they need us).
3) EU wants money and they will get it, if not from Google than from another successful company. I bet they are just salivating over the possibilities right now.
4) Losers hate the winners which is why so many search companies hate Google. When the tables turn their tune will change.
5) It is more profitable to litigate than it is to compete in an open market. (i.e. the system is broken in this respect).
6) Google doesn't FORCE data out of anyone. Simple META tags setting ROBOTS correctly will stop Google and many other search engines from indexing your site.
7) We have all known how Google works and it's smart business. Since when did smart business become so smart that it has mutated into "anti-competitive" and need to be shot down? This seems like a great mentality to destroy every successful company and support stupid business practices. I say, survival of the fittest and smartest not the stupidest, laziest, and most litigious.
8)


I am not sure how any of that relates to anything I said or to the issue at hand. The notion that the EU is financially motivated is laughable and that's from someone who worked for 20 years as an outsider operator across all branches of the EU bureaucracy and spent many, many months working through the Byzantine corridors of Brussels. It's really not what this about. What this is about is using a monopoly in one area to suppress competitors in another. It's that simple. I am not saying that is what Google did I am just saying that is the issue. And doing that, using a monopoly in one area to suppress competitors in another, is a big no no in the EU. The EU cannot stop the emergence of monopolies, Google got it's share of search by being easily the best, but the EU can stop it using that share to steamroll itself to domination in others areas if that's what think Google is doing. Stop dicking with search results. That can't be difficult for Google surely.


RE: The big picture
By retrospooty on 9/14/2013 10:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
" I presume you don't buy any of Google's products"

2 Nexus 7's a Chromecast and countless apps from the play store. No matter how you twist it, they are a software company. No matter what you wish would happen, Google is steadily taking over the smartphone and starting on the tablet markets. Instead of wasting your efforts trying to spread FUD to deaf ears, your best hope is for Apple to to update their aged OS and give better hardware options to stop Apples marketshare from eroding further. Its always funny when you make these posts anout Google, who they are and what their goals are. You are so far off its funny. Its a lot like Asymco. Your entire focus is on Apple with a microscpoe and you just dont seem to get whats going on with the rest of the tech world which goes on right outside of your microscos view. Hmmmmm. Makes me wonder.


RE: The big picture
By spaced_ on 9/15/2013 7:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, I think with their automated vehicles, balloons, and space elevator projects, describing them as a software company is perhaps not accurate either.

Perhaps a technology and engineering company would be more apt at this point.


RE: The big picture
By spaced_ on 9/15/2013 7:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
How old are you Tony? You do realise Google was founded in 1998 right?

Surely you're older than 15.

You do realise, they didn't used to have ANY advertisements when they started as a company.

It took Larry and Sergey QUITE ALOT OF TIME to settle on the advertising method to make money. They even swore they wouldn't do advertising in their very early days (prior to Google existing). They were planning on selling their search software to other companies. But they weren't making any money and they started getting investors who were wanting some form of a business model. They figured out a way to make advertising work without defacing their service with in-your-face animated gifs draped all over every page.

So, the question Tony, is, are you simply a retard, or just 15? Which one?

The first step to recovery, is admitting you have a problem.


RE: The big picture
By retrospooty on 9/15/2013 9:24:13 PM , Rating: 3
Tony is an old guy. He isnt retarded, hes actually a fairly smart person, but he is here on an agenda... To make any competitor of Apple look bad in any way he can. He sees Google as a threat, so they are a target for his FUD. Take anything he says with a huge grain of salt. What it means is Google is doing well. Note, he doesn't say a whole lot about Microsoft or Blackberry in mobile because they are not a threat in his odd company focused mind. Google has him worried.


RE: The big picture
By sprockkets on 9/15/2013 10:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So a company that makes all it's money from advertising, a company whose only paying customers are buyers of advertising, is not an advertising company?


Google has plenty of paying customers, both private and government, for their Google apps.

And it seems that only Google makes any money from the search business, while others are now floundering to MS never making a dime off of it.


Done deal
By Hector2 on 9/13/2013 5:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
The EU's EC must have gone through their last pile of "fine" money to pay their salaries. Now they have to find another scapegoat and Google is it. Google isn't getting out of this one. The EC will have their money.




RE: Done deal
By inighthawki on 9/13/2013 7:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
You have to be fair to everyone involved. Intel, Microsoft, Samsung. Gotta rotate it up every now and again.


RE: Done deal
By sorry dog on 9/13/2013 9:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would be very curious as to where this "fine" money would go?


RE: Done deal
By StanO360 on 9/13/2013 9:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
Let's call this what it is, it's a tax. They have done it for years to MS, Apple and others. Google is by definition NOT a monopoly. There are quite a few valid and good alternatives. Anyone can choose not to use them.


RE: Done deal
By StevoLincolnite on 9/14/2013 8:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would be very curious as to where this "fine" money would go?


Certainly not to the victims/those financially out of pocket.


RE: Done deal
By michael67 on 9/14/2013 11:29:39 AM , Rating: 3
The same place other fine's go to, in to the EU budget, just like the in the US.

And its not only US companies that get fined, EU companies also get fined, only they know a little better not to ignore the rules.


New EU profit model
By DocScience on 9/14/2013 6:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
This the new model for the EU to suck money out of profitable companies in other countries. Confiscatory regulatory piracy.




$@#! off and die Nextag
By Azethoth on 9/16/2013 1:28:23 AM , Rating: 2
What a piece of garbage website. It is what made me get a banhammer for my Google results. Now I google without ever seeing their stupid site, its irrelevant results, and the dumb people that advertise with them.




By half_duplex on 9/16/2013 11:44:22 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like the EU is making this a habit, but I guess they have to do what they have to do... half of the union is on the verge of collapse.

In this day and age, it pays to be the victim.




A few thoughts
By KurgSmash on 9/14/13, Rating: 0
"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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