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Google blames Microsoft for allegations

Antitrust cases against large companies in the tech world are nothing new. Microsoft is certainly no stranger to antitrust allegations and the firm has been found guilty of violations on several occasions in the past. The most recent antitrust charges in Europe against Microsoft had to do with the bundling of IE with Windows. The charges were ultimately dropped after Microsoft and the EU agreed to a ballot box offering users a choice of several web browsers. Testing of the browser ballot box was set to start this week in some European nations.

This time around, Google has found itself at the center of new allegations of antitrust activities. The European Commission has revealed that it is in the early stages of an antitrust investigation into Google. The EC said, "The Commission can confirm that it has received three complaints against Google which it is examining."

The EC didn’t specify what companies had filed the complaints, but Google announced the names of the firms in a blog post reports 
PC World. The three firms are Foundem (a UK price comparison engine), (a French legal search site), and Ciao (a German search site). Google points the finger at Microsoft for most of the charges though. According to Google, Microsoft recently purchased Ciao and Foundem is a member of iComp, a trade group funded mostly by Microsoft.

Google legal counsel Julia Holtz said, "Microsoft is our competitor and that explains many actions." She also said, "We are hopeful we can convince the Commission not to pursue a case. I am confident they will conclude there is nothing to it."

The core of the EC inquiry -- which the commission points out is not an official investigation at this time -- centers around Google's search algorithms. Foundem alleges that Google blacklisted its site by changing its search results and pushing Foundem results further down the rankings. Holtz maintains that Google uses neither blacklists nor whitelists for any sites.

Wall Street Journal reports that the EC asked Google to “comment on the allegations" earlier this month and reports that the probe centers on search advertising rather than Google's search algorithms as PC World claims.

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By JPForums on 2/25/2010 10:47:09 AM , Rating: 3
It isn't a conspiracy, the EU is picking American companies to bleed for extra money.

If the EU was only going after US companies then you may have had a point but since that is far from the case your claim is just stupid and malicious. Harsh words I know but what else will you call when someone misinformed persist with telling downright lies!

Regardless of EU's standpoint on bleeding American companies, your argument is flawed. The fact that they also prosecute non-American companies doesn't prove that they aren't trying to bleed American companies. It just proves that they also have an interest in prosecuting those other companies.

That said, EU is not the Evil blood sucking organization that a lot of people make it out to be. They are a government entity like any other, no more or less evil than the people running it. Like any other government entity, they have no more power than they are given. When they imposed fines on Intel, Intel gave them the power to enforce it. If Intel had pulled out of the European market, the EU could pursue them no further. It is Intel that decided to get into the European market, and Intel knows full well that means playing by the established rules. It would appear that Intel still values that market despite the huge fine.

However, it does seem that EU is quite negligent and more than a little biased when it comes to their targets. First, I have to ask myself why they allow these practices to go on for so long before prosecuting the company. It does seem to point to a desire to get more money out of said company (regardless of nationality).

Second, I have to ask myself why they don't prosecute everyone implicated in a case. When someone buys illegal drugs, who is at fault, the buyer or the seller. When someone buys illegal arms, who is at fault, the buyer or the seller. When someone takes a bribe, who is at fault, the briber or the one taking the bribe. It seems to me that anytime an illegal transaction takes place, both parties are to blame. So, why didn't a single European company that accepted the "illegal" deals that Intel was selling them get prosecuted. Clearly a lesser fine is warranted, but it wasn't as if they didn't have an alternate source for their products. They could even have used Intel products without the lucrative deal. They simply chose to ignore the legality (or lack there of) in favor of the payoff. A short sighted decision perhaps, but in the end, theirs to make.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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