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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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By BZDTemp on 1/11/2013 9:37:57 PM , Rating: 5
"all the monies" is pocket change and nothing more. You really should read just a little about what the EU is, here are a few facts to get you started:

- EU is a union of 27 countries.
- The combined population of those countries is aprox a ½ billion people.
- Consumer protection laws are strong in the EU and that also means laws to ensure fair and open competition thus anti-trust laws are strict.
- The EU is a bigger economy than the US and while some member countries are struggling as a whole the is much better funded than the US. If China and the arab oil states wasn't carrying the US and so allowing for the absurd national debt to go on the US would be like Greece.

As for the EU doing a pick and choose that is simply not so - it is merely that you hear about anti-trust cases in the EU when it involves US companies. And also while I can certainly agree that Apple is evil and that they do their best to lock in the customers Apple is no where near having the same kind of market control as Microsoft. There is only two areas where Apple is or has been close to holding a de facto monopoly and that is online music and eBooks - and guess what the EU is following those areas closely and has in fact forced some changes.

PS. The Microsoft thing was not about them preventing users installing another browser. It was about Microsoft using their OS dominance to gain similar control over other markets and had they not been held up just a bit then it would have been much worse than what we have now. Try and read on Netscape vs Microsoft and then extrapolate from there. For instance ask yourself what happened to RealPlayer when Microsoft got serious about their MediaPlayer making damn sure it came with every Windows install.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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