Print 21 comment(s) - last by Aloonatic.. on Jan 24 at 1:25 PM

Europe's antitrust chief accused Google of diverting traffic

Google may have gotten off pretty easy with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this month, but it doesn't look like the European antitrust authorities will let Google go with a warning and a slap on the wrist.

Joaquin Almunia, Europe's antitrust chief, recently said that Google is providing search results that promote its own services instead of fairly showing those of competitors.

"We are still investigating, but my conviction is [Google] are diverting traffic," said Almunia. "They are monetising this kind of business, the strong position they have in the general search market and this is not only a dominant position, I think -- I fear -- there is an abuse of this dominant position."

Almunia added that he agreed with the FTC's recent decision to force Google to change its business practices, but the EU's punishment at the investigation's conclusion will "not be weaker."

Google could have to pay the EU a fine as high as 10 percent of its global annual turnover, which would be about $3.79 billion.

Earlier this month, Google managed to escape a nearly two-year U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation without paying any fines. Instead of paying fines, the FTC made Google promise that it would stop scraping reviews and information from other websites, stop requesting sales bans when suing companies for patent infringement and allow advertisers to export data in order to evaluate advertising campaigns.

The decision to not fine Google after such a long investigation surprised many rival companies like Microsoft and Nextag, who believe Google won't learn its lesson unless there are severe consequences.

Source: ZDNet

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The boring reality
By Aloonatic on 1/11/2013 1:09:37 PM , Rating: -1
I know that most here will go down the line of "oh, it's the EU trying to screw an American company out of money...." but the issue here (not really explained clearly in the article, of course, as it might mitigate the jingoistic rage) is really quite simple.

The point is, when a Google product/service is relevant to the search made, they put their product/service at the top, regardless of whether they are the most relevant or the "best" result for the search made. However, the user believes that they are the most relevant or "best" as that's the way that Google is meant to work (the way it works for every othe company's products/services) and why they became the leading search engine in the first place.

RE: The boring reality
By spamreader1 on 1/11/2013 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, that would seem more of pride in your own products. I admittedly haven't followed this situation that closely, and I can't imagine on Apples website, them selling PC's as well as MACs when someone is looking at a gaming computer.

RE: The boring reality
By drycrust3 on 1/12/2013 6:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree.
It is entirely normal for companies everywhere to promote their own products and services and to leave competitors products to the competitors to promote.
It isn't as if you need to use Google, you don't, for many searches any reasonable search engine will do as good a job as Google does, in fact it is arguable that for any important search you should do a repeat on a different search engine to ensure you get a more balanced search result.
The pity is there are so few good search engines around that integrate with Firefox's search bar.

RE: The boring reality
By drycrust3 on 1/11/2013 4:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
The point is, when a Google product/service is relevant to the search made, they put their product/service at the top, regardless of whether they are the most relevant or the "best" result for the search made.

Ok, so if I go to Google (as in the search engine) and put in "search engine" then, by your claim, I would expect to find "the worlds' most popular search engine" at the very top, but you are wrong. The top 10 results, which I have abbreviated, are what I see here in New Zealand, so it may differ elsewhere, but these are the results I get:
1) Comprehensive list of Search Engines - The Search Engine List
2) Web search engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3) SearchNZ - New Zealand's leading search engine
4) Dogpile Web Search
5) New Zealand Search Engines and Directories
6) Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Paid Search Advertising (PPC ...
7) Google
8) Bing
9) Yahoo! Search - Web Search (
10) What is search engines? - A Word Definition From

Notice how Google's results include themselves only once (at number 7), but include 3 "international" competitors, Dogpile (at number 4), Bing (8th), and Yahoo / Altavista (9th); and one "local" search engine, SearchNZ at number 3.
When consider the fact the Google's search engine is a very very good search engine, it may well be that if you continually ask it for Google products and services that it does put those at the top of the search results because those are products and services you have asked for in the past. As such, if that is what is happening, then who's fault is it if Google's products are higher on the list than other competitors (and especially less well performing competitors)?
Also, and I don't like to reiterate, Google IS the world's most popular search engine, AND it is a very very good search engine, so one would totally expect it to be near the top of any reasonably good search engine result. The fact that it doesn't appear at the top of other search engine results (see below) doesn't necessarily mean Google are the ones manipulating their results, it could be Google's competitors are the ones at fault.

When I put "search engine" into other some other search engines, such as Bing, Dogpile, Duckduckgo, and Baidu, I do get other results, but that is totally to be expected. One interesting fact is 3 of those search engines exclude Google, the world's most popular search engine, from their top 10 results. The exception is Baidu.
When you look at Bing, they include themselves at number 5, and Baidu with themselves at number 1, so for Google to include themselves at number 7 is not unique either.

RE: The boring reality
By Aloonatic on 1/24/2013 1:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
Only on DT can you be down-rated as being "not worth reading" for:

1) Predicting what would happen in other comments accurately.
2) Actually telling you (dear reader) what the complaint from the EU is about, as the trolling author didn't think that it was worth putting in their actual article.

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