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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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RE: If its not apple...
By cmdrdredd on 9/16/2011 4:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
What would happen to Europe if Microsoft stopped supporting and offering software there, google shut down everything they do there and blocked access to its services, and apple stopped selling iphones and ipods over there. What would they do then?

It'll never happen but it's an interesting thought...keep sticking the knife into the gut and you'll eventually get a negative response.

RE: If its not apple...
By mackx on 9/16/2011 5:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
whoever decided that would be fired after microsofts share price would plummet due to the loss of a major market.

then some variant of linux would be developed that's actually decent and would make its way to other parts of the globe, as well as major software houses making ports of their software to linux due to this huge new market that's linux only.

RE: If its not apple...
By izmanq on 9/18/2011 5:32:29 AM , Rating: 1
I would be really happy if microsoft and apple is blocked :D that probably will make Linux support from software and hardware vendor a lot better than now, and with apple gone, perhaps those fanboys could start open their eyes about other product :D but no google is a major lost for me, since i'm a google fanboy :D

RE: If its not apple...
By silverblue on 9/16/2011 5:55:33 PM , Rating: 2
What would happen to three such companies if they completely cut ties with the world's richest economic entity? Hmm, let's think about that for a second... ;)

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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