Google Gets "Last Chance" to Settle With EU on Antitrust Abuses
May 21, 2012 2:50 PM
Google stands accused of boosting its ad services while suppressing rival ad vendors
A host of small competitors -- including TripAdvisor (Mass., U.S.), Opodo (pan-European), Hotmaps (German), Foundem (UK), and eDreams (UK) -- have filed complaints against Google Inc. (
) before antitrust regulators in the European Union accusing the smartphone operating system and search giant of
manipulating search results to boost its own offerings
. Google offers a variety of services, which are monetized through advertising.
Microsoft Corp. (
), an online advertising rival of Google's, is the largest firm to have complained to the EU about the alleged abuses. Currently there are 16 complaints against Google.
Net Market Share
] both estimate Google to control roughly 81 percent of the search market. Microsoft's Bing is thought be in second place with nearly 9 percent. In Europe Google's market share is estimated to reach even higher -- approximately 86 percent, according to
, another online statistics service.
An EU antitrust probe against Google
was first launched in 2010, looking into the claims of search abuse. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia says that like Google, the European Commission -- Europe's antitrust watchdog -- is eager to avoid fines or trouble from non-compliance.
The EU is concerned Google is abusing its dominant search position.
[Image Source: Google Images/Unknown]
The EU investigation found signs that Google did indeed abuse its dominant position. But the EU is willing to avoid formal charges if Google vows to change it ways and commits to a closely monitored program of compliance.
In a letter Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, Mr. Almunia writes:|
Google Inc. has repeatedly expressed to me its willingness to discuss any concerns that the Commission might have without having to engage in adversarial proceedings. This is why I am today giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies to address the concerns we have already identified.
In this letter, I offer Google the possibility to come up in a matter of weeks with first proposals of remedies...
If Google comes up with an outline of remedies which are capable of addressing our concerns, I will instruct my staff to initiate the discussions in order to finalise a remedies package. This would allow to solve our concerns by means of a commitment decision – pursuant to Article 9 of the EU Antitrust Regulation - instead of having to pursue formal proceedings with a Statement of objections and to adopt a decision imposing fines and remedies.
David Wood, a lawyer for lobbying group ICOMP whose members include Microsoft, Foundem, and Hotmaps, explains that non-compliance or failure to respond convincingly will likely bring on formal charges. He
, "This is effectively the Commission demanding remedies, failing that there will be a statement of objections (EU charge sheet)."
EU regulators say this is Google's "last chance". [Image Source: LucasFilm, Ltd.]
Europe's antitrust laws allow regulators to fine up to 10 percent of a violator's global revenue. While the EU is best known for its massive billion-plus dollar
fines of Intel
) for persistent antitrust violations, the region's regulators have also made peace with other investigation subjects.
As Mr. Almunia points out in his letter/threat to Google, International Business Machines, Inc. (
) faced a similar investigation in 2011, but was able to
resolve it without formal charges
being filed. While Google disputes wrongdoing in the case, it may wish to follow IBM's lead in order to avoid painful fines.
IBM wisely avoided EU fines in a similar probe, while Microsoft and Intel
"did things the hard way". [Image Source: Reuters/Rick Wilking]
Even if Google settles, Mr. Almunia says it will still face some other probes, such as an investigation into complaints that Google
"snooped" on private communications on unsecured networks
, using its "Street View" cars.
Europa [EU Press Release]
"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
FCC: Google Knowingly Used Street View Cars to Snoop on Emails, Texts
May 1, 2012, 3:16 AM
IBM Attempts to Settle EU Antitrust Investigation by Offering Concessions
September 20, 2011, 10:36 AM
EU Investigates Google Amid Claims of Abusing a Dominant Position in Search
November 30, 2010, 9:35 AM
Google at the Center of New Antitrust Probe by EU
February 24, 2010, 12:08 PM
European Commission Fines Intel $1.45B
May 13, 2009, 9:04 AM
Netflix took a decision to invest in original content
January 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
Amazon Airborne Fulfillment Center – Your Merchandise Drop-Shipped from the Clouds
December 29, 2016, 5:00 AM
Amazon is experimenting with a new kind of grocery stores, Amazon Go
December 8, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google plans ultra-fast wireless Internet for Research Triangle Park, N.C.
August 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
Most Popular Articles
Super Hi- Vision Will Amaze the World
January 16, 2017, 9:53 AM
Comparison: Xiaomi Mi Mix Vs. HTC U Ultra
January 14, 2017, 12:10 AM
A Few Technology Trends, Highlight’s of 2017
January 14, 2017, 12:31 AM
Gionee Marathon M5 Plus – China’s Flagship Smartphone
January 15, 2017, 2:02 AM
Samsung Chromebook Plus – Coming in February 2017
January 17, 2017, 12:01 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Jan 20, 2017, 7:00 AM
News of the World
Jan 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
News of the Day Wednesday 1/18/2017
Jan 18, 2017, 12:01 AM
Jan 17, 2017, 12:16 AM
News of the Day
Jan 16, 2017, 12:10 PM
News and Technology Advancement
Jan 16, 2017, 7:58 AM
Jan 15, 2017, 12:32 AM
Here is Some News
Jan 14, 2017, 12:39 AM
News: Improved and New products
Jan 13, 2017, 12:01 AM
News around the world
Jan 12, 2017, 12:01 AM
Rumors and Announcements
Jan 11, 2017, 12:01 AM
This year CES and ridiculous gadgets
Jan 10, 2017, 12:01 AM
Nokia Android phone spurns the west.
Jan 9, 2017, 12:08 AM
New at CES 2017 - Changhong 8K Super Slim TV 65ZHQ3R
Jan 8, 2017, 1:07 AM
Debuted at CES 2017 - Vuzix Blade 3000 Smart Sunglasses
Jan 8, 2017, 12:39 AM
Some news of Day
Jan 7, 2017, 12:01 AM
News 2017 CES
Jan 6, 2017, 12:01 AM
Here is the Latest News in Tech
Jan 5, 2017, 1:47 AM
AI Beats World’s Best at Chinese board game “Go”
Jan 4, 2017, 11:21 AM
Las Vegas 2017 CES
Jan 3, 2017, 12:01 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information