Print 4 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Jan 30 at 9:29 AM

Or in a couple of weeks, at the very latest

Google may have finally pleased the the European Commission with its latest round of proposals regarding search dominance, which means a settlement could arrive any day now.

According to Reuters, Google could settle with the European Commission in the next few days, or in a couple of weeks at the very latest, ending a nearly four-year antitrust investigation as to whether Google arranges search results in a way that benefits itself instead of consumers and competitors. 

The latest proposals, which were submitted this month, said Google would allow competitors to display their logos and web links in a prominent box in search results, and content providers will be able to decide what material Google can use for its own services. Also, Google would make it easier for advertisers to promote on rival platforms such as Microsoft's Bing.

This is Google's third proposal, as the other two didn't seem to please the European Commission or Google's rivals. There are four main concerns the European Commission needs addressed: Google gives unfair preference in search results to its own services, tries to prevent clients from using other advertising platforms, duplicates content without permission, and ties up publishers with exclusivity deals.


The European Commission will not take feedback from Google's 125 rivals this time, and is expected to settle in days. This settlement means Google will have escaped as much as a $5 billion fine, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue.

This probably sounds similar to the two-year investigation the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched against Google regarding its dominance on the Web. Instead of paying fines, the FTC made Google promise that it would stop scraping reviews and information from other websites, stop requesting sales bans when suing companies for patent infringement and allow advertisers to export data in order to evaluate advertising campaigns.

The decision to not fine Google after such a long investigation surprised many rival companies, but FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said it was in the best interest of all involved.

The EU swore not to go easy on Google the way the FTC did, and while the EU investigation has been lengthier than the FTCs, it looks like Google is still dodging fines. 

Source: Reuters

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By gookpwr on 1/29/2014 1:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
Who do the fines help anyhow? If they want change then require a change. Just slapping some obligatory dollar amount to a wrong doing does not somehow make the wrong doing right. Sure it punishes the offender financially but when a company has billions the money is less of the issue. Correcting whats wrong should always be end goal of a court decision. I'm actually happy both parties are agreeing to the set terms without any fines attached. Google already had to shell out a small fortune in attorneys fee's I'm sure, and they have to pay the developers to make all these changes. So its not like its Free for Google to comply.

RE: Good!
By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/2014 12:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
The whole thing was a sham from the start really. A solid case against Google was never made, and there's just no evidence of wrongdoing to back the claims up.

Sorry Microsoft, you'll have to actually compete instead of getting the EU to do your dirty work.

RE: Good!
By troysavary on 1/30/2014 9:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, you don't have a clue. MS didn't start the complaints. Companies like Yelp did. Google was taking the reviews directly from the Yelp site and using them on their own Yelp clone. When Yelp asked them not to do that, Google threatened to de-list Yelp. I don't know what you call taking something that isn't yours and claiming it is, but most of the world calls it theft.

Perhaps you didn't notice, but part of the agreement that Google made with the DoJ to avoid fines in the US was to stop "content scraping". That was determined to be illegal and Google was found guilty of it.

RE: Good!
By troysavary on 1/30/2014 9:29:22 AM , Rating: 2
Before you start your predictable defence of I'm just a hater, I actually back Google on the rest of the complaints. It is Google's search engine, they can list their own services wherever the hell they want to. To require otherwise would be like forcing Target to list Walmart products in their fliers. If Google wants exclusivity with the people advertising with them, then the clients are implicitly accepting that arrangement when they sign the agreement with Google. As long as Google didn't come after the signing and change the terms to disallow advertising with competitors, no foul, as far as I am concerned.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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