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  (Source: crystalxp.net)
The EU Competition Commissioner noted that Google's business, where advertising fees finance a service that is free-of-charge for users, makes this investigation difficult

Google is undeniably a force to be reckoned with in the tech world. It's the world's most popular search engine with more than 90 percent of the global market (according to internet statistics firm StatCounter), developer of the popular mobile operating system Android and creator of social network Google+. But sometimes, too much of the spotlight can land you in some trouble.

In April 2011, it was announced the the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department would launch an antitrust investigation of Google's Internet dominance if the search giant decided to purchase ITA Software Inc. Google ended up buying the search software firm this year and even used it to launch a "Flights" search feature just this week.

Google has attracted some attention from the European Union (EU) as well, which is still undecided as to whether the company dominates Internet search and wronged rivals of competition rules, reports Reuters.

"As part of our current investigation, we are trying to determine whether the company holds a dominant position in Internet search," said Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition Commissioner. "Google is the browser of choice for many of us, but dominance is not the same as abuse of dominance. Abuse is a conduct that protects or extends dominance by illegitimate means, and we still have to conclude whether this is the case for Google."

Almunia noted that Google's business, where advertising fees finance a service that is free-of-charge for users, makes this investigation difficult.

"This aspect of Google's business is forcing us to take special care as we conduct our assessment of the relevant product and geographic markets," said Almunia. "Another important issue in this case, for instance, is determining whether Google holds a position of gatekeepr and is able to influence the behavior of Internet users."

Google is currently up against nine antitrust complaints filed with the EU, and the Commission can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover if guilty of violating EU policies.


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Getting sick of the EU
By quiksilvr on 9/16/2011 10:55:31 AM , Rating: 5
First Microsoft and now this? All they care about is leeching as much as they can from big businesses.




RE: Getting sick of the EU
By AmbroseAthan on 9/16/2011 12:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
Soon Google's EU homepage will include alternate search links under it for Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, Altavista, etc, just to make sure you are aware of other search engines!

Also, the EU will make them operate like the travel sites that offer to open other competitors searches in other tabs so you can compare...

The EU anti-trust wagon is fun!
</sarcasm>


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By ApfDaMan on 9/16/2011 12:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
Dont forget Intel's 1.45B fine, mid 09.


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By silverblue on 9/16/2011 5:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
Deserved fine... and they were damned lucky it wasn't higher.


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By Reclaimer77 on 9/16/2011 2:32:24 PM , Rating: 4
Pretty much. This says all you need to know.

quote:
"As part of our current investigation, we are trying to determine whether the company holds a dominant position in Internet search," said Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition Commissioner. "Google is the browser of choice for many of us, but dominance is not the same as abuse of dominance. Abuse is a conduct that protects or extends dominance by illegitimate means, and we still have to conclude whether this is the case for Google."


Translation: We have no evidence or proof that something fishy is going on, but goddamnit, we're the EU and don't like big American companies. So we'll start a fishing expedition, call it an investigation, and see if we can get some money from these fat cats!


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By MrTeal on 9/16/2011 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 3
Things must be different in Europe, because I'd hardly say that Google is the browser of choice for most people.


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By danjw1 on 9/16/2011 3:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that they call Google a browser, shows how little the person quoted knows about technology.


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By silverblue on 9/16/2011 5:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, because the EU as a whole is letting Apple get away with whatever it likes. Regardless, calling Google a "browser" was a rather amusing own-goal.

They were spot on with Intel, though.


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By TSS on 9/16/2011 7:45:02 PM , Rating: 1
Eh, it's just an investigation. They even said themselves Dominance isn't Abuse of dominance. No fines are given yet.

Remember microsoft killed netscape by making IE free and standard in windows. If they had charged for IE things might've gone differently, even if it was intergrated (same goes for not intergrated and free though).

Android is basically killing any chance apple has to charge for the OS on the phone, they can only charge for the phone. While google is raking in profits because they have *their* appstore on *their* OS (pay for apps + OS or just apps -> advantage for google). I was talking to my buddy the other day about the current state of apps on smartphones, since there are so many apps and there's litteraly an app for everything. In the end the best way to describe the current state was "this is how internet would've looked like if the browser was never invented". You simply go to a appstore and would buy the functionality of each website in an seperate app (or apps are ad-supported, of which google rakes in the cash as well). And since apple only sells iOS on their own phones, they will also sell less of their own phones as a direct result.

I'm by no means an apple fan (hell i did an IT education, nuff said). But just because apple is the devil incarnate and google on average is pretty decent, doesn't make it right or less anti-competative. In this situation, All OSes should incorperate All Appstores. Wether the apps will actually work on your machine is irrelevant. They will automatically allow eachothers apps to be sold in eachothers stores this way, since availability to the store is guarranteed on your competitor's platform. Then the appstores will compete with eachother driving down prices for apps - one of the symptoms of competition.

I don't know if it's actually true. But it sounds more then logical enough to actually investigate if it's true. Which brings me back to my original point.

I'm sure (or rather i hope) apple will get what's comming to them eventually. Though i doubt the sheeple will be any the wiser for it.


RE: Getting sick of the EU
By MRwizard on 9/19/2011 3:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
Who ever voted this person down, please explain to me why you did - i'm in agreement with almost everything that was posted


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