Europe Prepares to Probe Google Hard and Deep
August 3, 2011 6:20 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
citing two unnamed sources, the European Union's
probe into possible antitrust violations
by Google Inc. (
) 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. (
), 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. (
), who was
fined $1.45B USD in 2009
In the U.S. Google
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
probe and a Sept. 21 U.S. Senate hearing scrutinizing its dominant position. These various actions add insult to the recent injury at the hands of Apple, Inc. (
), who is suing [
] Google's top hardware partners internationally in a bid to stifle its Android operating system. Microsoft, who's battling for EU action against Google, is also applying legal pressure [
] to get its own cut of Android revenue.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: It's the o@$@ way they'll pay tax!
8/3/2011 8:32:27 PM
That's right, it's not like it will just raise the cost of their products or reduce dividends to the millions of investors(including mutual funds, Calpers etc)!
RE: It's the o@$@ way they'll pay tax!
8/4/2011 3:45:17 AM
The same would be true if they paid it in tax. Why don't we just make corporations totally tax exempt and remove the need for them to set up shell corporations in low-tax countries to avoid contributing to the country they took the money from? After all, setting up those companies and moving all that money around probably costs them some money.
Besides, companies charge whatever price the market will support; increasing their costs would reduce their profit not increase their prices. It's a long long time since the price of a product was based on its intrinsic worth and the cost of producing it. Welcome to capitalism.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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