Print 31 comment(s) - last by Lazarus Dark.. on Aug 5 at 10:04 PM

The EU will probe whether Google was "evil" in the search market. The EU is investigating nine reports of abuse against Google.  (Source: Google Images)
Investigation of internet and mobile device giant expands to nine complaints

According to a Reuters report citing two unnamed sources, the European Union's probe into possible antitrust violations by Google Inc. (GOOG) has greatly expanded.  Google, who recently set aside $500M USD to deal with antitrust settlements, is accused of various wrongdoings in nine different complaints.  The EU had only received four complaints, previously.

A source comments, "The Commission has nine formal complaints now. The new complaints come from small companies."

But while the EU may be probing Google to see if it's been naughty, Simon Holmes, the chief of SJ Berwin, a lawyer at EU and competition law firm, says that the new complaints don't necessarily mean game over for Google.  He remarks, "Google's strong position means there are lots of interests involved. But there is nothing wrong per se in having a strong position. The mere proliferation of complaints doesn't increase the likelihood of infringements. It means there are issues certain parties want to be investigated."

The first three complaints were filed by small web content providers who accused Google of demoting their sites in its search results, to push users to its own competitive offerings.  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), who was previously slammed by the EU with a then-record $1.4B USD fine for its own alleged antitrust violations, filed its first ever complaint with EU regulators, claiming Google was blocking internet search competition.

EU regulators can fine a company up to 10 percent of its global revenue.  Thus far the biggest fines have come against Microsoft and, more recently, Intel Corp. (INTC), who was fined $1.45B USD in 2009.

In the U.S. Google faces a pending U.S. Federal Trade Commission probe and a Sept. 21 U.S. Senate hearing scrutinizing its dominant position.  These various actions add insult to the recent injury at the hands of Apple, Inc. (AAPL), who is suing [1][2][3][4][5] Google's top hardware partners internationally in a bid to stifle its Android operating system.  Microsoft, who's battling for EU action against Google, is also applying legal pressure [1][2] to get its own cut of Android revenue.

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RE: Yeah right
By michael67 on 8/3/2011 8:06:31 PM , Rating: -1
Seriously ???
They should hold a competition here for how can make the most bias anti EU comment. ^_^

Just a question, if you get a ticket for speeding, and you don't pay up, what happens then???
MS got initially "only" fined for around $500, that things got out of hand was MS own fault, if they had cooperated with the EU more from the beginning it would had properly bin even less.

And fines are high in the EU for anti completive behaviour, Heiniken got 200m euro's for price fixing in Holland (17m people or only 3% of EU population).
And there are many more fines like this mainly for EU companies, so don't say it only fines US companies, EU companies get fined just as hard

And on top of that, if you keep on speeding, then on a certain moment, dose the fines not stack up so mouths that have to choose, between driving whit in the limits or stop using you car.
(sticking your head in the sand only works so long ^_^)
So in the end you eider, comply whit local law and pay up, or leave the biggest market in the world.

MS was thinking FU EU we do what WE want, but the EU said FU back to MS, you WILL do what we demand by law.
Steve Ballmer fought the law, and the law won.
(and it really dose not help to be a hard head, if you fight the law)

The fine was 1% of the budget if that has to save the EU economy, they would have bin in deep shit a long time ago.

ps. I live in Norway, and we are not part of the EU and properly never will be part of it, but saying that they are money grabbing ass***** go's for me a bid far, as the EU dose a lot of good AND bad, but this one was all on MS imho.

RE: Yeah right
By tng on 8/3/2011 9:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
The fine was 1% of the budget
Still, that is quite of few really good parties.

Is there a reason that half of your post is like this?

RE: Yeah right
By jhb116 on 8/3/2011 11:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
The reason everyone gangs up on the EU is they have fined alot of high earning US based companies based on dubious reasons - billions over free internet browsers - really??? Now what are they going after Google for? Search dominance? And if so what is the end state that will make the market more fair? As far as search results - paying for more "shelf space" - is a common practice in brick and mortar stores so the problem (yes I agree it is a problem) needs to be tackled across the board, however, fining or even investigating Google for it is hardly the way to go about it.

A more logical target would be Apple - especially if they succeed in their lawsuits against Android.

RE: Yeah right
By silverblue on 8/4/2011 3:24:13 AM , Rating: 1
The reason everyone gangs up on the EU is they have fined alot of high earning US based companies based on dubious reasons

I don't call fining Intel for trying to force AMD out of business a "dubious reason". In any case, Intel got off VERY lightly. They most certainly cost AMD far more than the fine Intel received.

Similarly, Microsoft was also engaging in anti-competitive practices. There's a reason as to why people got the Browser Choice on Windows.

The point of all this is, if you're going to do business in the EU, don't cry if you get caught doing something you shouldn't be. Fortunately for these companies, the money doesn't go to help its rivals.

If we're going to have anymore companies dragged in front of the European courts for anti-competitive practices, may I suggest Creative Labs first and foremost? ;)

RE: Yeah right
By Lazarus Dark on 8/5/2011 10:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
We already had a browser choice. In fact by the time EU finally forced MS to give the "choice" screen, Firefox was already making a significant dent in the browser market. If EU had just let the market decide, it would have been the same as it currently stands, those fines changed nothing except ripping of Microsoft (and I hate MS, but they still didn't deserve that).
I chose Firefox on my own along with millions of others. And as for the rest? 90 percent of average pc users just plain dont care what browser they use as long as it works.

Personally I don't really care what Intel did or didn't do. The market still chose. Enthusiasts go for whoever has the best chips currently, while consumers go with whatever is cheapest. I don't really think the EU's fines changed that either.

The EU is full of itself and thinks it's big enough to do whatever it wants now. Eventually... someone is going to have to knock them down a peg.

RE: Yeah right
By michael67 on 8/4/2011 4:56:31 AM , Rating: 1
based on dubious reasons

I found that most of the reasons made a lot of sense to me, but that most people from the US only read the one liner head on article's, and never really investigated the real reasons.

The EU have other standards and rules of doing business then in the US, will not say that they are better or worse, but just as EU companies have to follow US law when doing business in the US, the same thing go's the other way around.

Google for? Search dominance?

No not for that, its for Google's 70% dominance in the advertising business, and pushing others out of the market.

Every one thinks what Google dose is ok.
Because Google search is free, off course its free, but for Google its all a bout dominating the portal to the internet, or do you think all those Google billions came from no ware?

To educate your self more, see this BBC series on "secrets of the superbrands" the following episode is about technology.

But the episode's about food and fashion are also very interesting

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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