EU Doesn't Plan to Go Easy on Google (Like the FTC)
January 11, 2013 9:36 AM
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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.
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RE: The boring reality
1/12/2013 6:31:25 PM
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.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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