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  (Source: rnw.nl)
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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RE: I don't get it
By A11 on 1/14/2013 10:16:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree though that the EU appears to have found a blank check in American businesses. It seems the EU is very willing to leverage it and extort money only to prop up some of their failing economies.


You realize EU investigated and fined Intel/MS because other "American" companies had complained about their business practices?

I'm not aware of why they began investigating Google but I wouldn't be surprised if MS had a thing or two to do with it.

Btw you might want to look into the actions of your own justice department, they've been known to fine foreign companies as well (The LCD cartel case springs to mind).


RE: I don't get it
By ShieTar on 1/14/2013 11:18:56 AM , Rating: 1
The 450 M$ fine that the american FTC made german Siemens AG pay also springs to mind. Extorted money to prop up the failing economy in Idaho?

If you want to be a global company, you need to obey the national and supernational laws applicable in all your markets. If you don't like EU laws, don't sell your product there.


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