Google Promises Major Changes to Avoid EU Antitrust Punishments
February 1, 2013 3:07 PM
comment(s) - last by
Google doesn't want to follow in Microsoft and Intel's example
The European Commission revealed today that Google Inc. (
), the world's largest search and smartphone operating system maker, has offered up some major concessions to try to avoid
) as the latest victim of punitive billion-plus dollar
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia
confirmed the submission
, but would not discuss the terms. The demand set by group
-- whose members include Microsoft, Foundem, Hot-map, Streetmap, and Nextag -- is that the
EU ensure that Google is kept on a "level playing field"
with rivals, despite its position.
While not elaborating on what that meant, possibilities including limiting Google's ability to scrape their data using scripts (given Google's advantage of owning a massive stockpile of servers) and limiting Google's ability to rank its own services in its search engine above theirs arbitrarily.
The FairSearch Coalition
-- whose members include Expedia Inc. (
) and TripAdvisor Inc. (
) -- adds that a third party should be appointed to monitor Google. In its U.S. settlement with the
Federal Trade Commission
, Google largely shirked such a term, arguing that exposing its source code to third party monitoring would hurt its business due to possible leaks. The FTC settled with Google without forcing the company to commit to the most severe of suggested terms
or face fines
. The U.S. light treatment of Google
drew criticism from rivals
like Microsoft, but the FTC
defended its decision
Google has a more dominant position in search in Europe (82 percent of traffic) than in its home country, the U.S. (67 percent of traffic). Aside from scraping and search ranking, a third concern of the EU is reports that Google pressured advertisers to use this service, by making it harder for sites to switch to less-dominant rival platforms.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/4/2013 10:26:18 AM
It's one thing if Google is mis-representing their product. They should be held accountable if they advertise natural search results and they are artificially adding theirs into the natural results.
As long as they are clear about it, why shouldn't they be able to market their own products to their existing customers? Google is not a monopoly. It's not like a takes a huge effort to switch using search engines if users don't like it.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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