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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 silverblue on 8/4/2011 3:24:13 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
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.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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