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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 Qi on 8/4/2011 6:25:32 AM , Rating: 3
Indeed, where do people get that nonsense? The European Union member states combined have a lower total debt level in comparison with the United States. And the E.U. as a whole has a smaller total budget deficit too, if you compare it with the U.S.. Also, Europe's biggest economy, Germany, is booming and experiencing growth rates of more than 3%.

That said, some smaller countries are in trouble though. But Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined make up only 7% of the total economy. That's nothing compared to, for example, California, which was/is on the brink of bankruptcy and represents a massive 14% of the U.S. economy. And the E.U. countries haven't experienced government shutdown. In the U.S., Minnesota is having a government shutdown right now!

The problems Europe is having now can be solved entirely in just a few months if European politicians have the will to do so. Realize that the current crisis is not so much financial but political. If the Eurozone implements Eurozone Bonds as an alternative to U.S. Treasuries this mess is over in an instant. Eventually Eurozone Bonds will happen and with the European Financial Stability Facility major steps towards full fiscal integration have been taken already.


Euro crisis? What Euro crisis?

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