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Rivals like Microsoft believe the EU is too soft on Google

The European Commission has come to an agreement with Google on the search dominance investigation, but Google's competitors are not happy with the deal.

Google's settlement proposal will not change the algorithm used to create its search results, but rather, the company will clearly label any search results from its own services. Not only that, but in some instances, Google will offer links from rival search engines. 

More specifically, services where Google doesn't make money from search results (like weather and news) will be labeled as Google services. For places where Google sells ads, links to at least three competitors will be displayed. For services like Google Shopping, links to rivals will be auctioned.

In addition, the proposal will give websites the option to keep their content from vertical search properties, but stay in general search results. Furthermore, Google will help small businesses move their ad campaigns to other search engines.

The EU has accepted this proposal without pressing any fines on Google. Now, industry experts and rivals can voice their opinions of the settlement during market testing before the changes are implemented. 

Rivals, like Microsoft, are not happy with this outcome. They said that Google is a determining factor as to what Europeans search, read and purchase online (about 86 percent of Europeans use Google for search) and that its practices are only benefitting itself; not consumers and fair competitors. 

“When the market test goes ahead, we will try and be constructive,” said David Wood, a lawyer for Brussels-based industry group ICOMP, which includes Microsoft. “But if it doesn’t clearly set out non-discrimination principles and the means to deal with the restoration of effective competition, plus effective enforcement and compliance, it’s very difficult to see how it can be satisfactory.”

The European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into Google's search behavior in November 2010.

In May 2012, the European Commission said that Google should submit changes in how its search results are wired. In February of this year, Google promised to do just that in order to avoid any further wrath from the EU. 

In January of this year, Google managed to escape a two-year U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation with no fines. The investigation looked into Google's possible abuse of search dominance as well by using results to its own advantage. Shortly after, the EU said it didn't plan to go easy on Google the way the U.S. did. 

Google may not be out of trouble just yet, though. Fairsearch Europe -- a group of Google competitors including Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle -- filed a complaint against Google just last week for the way it builds the Android operating system to benefit Google apps in most smartphones. 

According to the complaint, Fairsearch Europe is accusing Google of using its mobile OS "as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today."

Source: The New York Times



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Failsearch group more like...
By ROTFLCOPTER on 4/15/2013 2:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
This group that includes Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle is just pulling at straws. The fact of the matter is that Google bundles services and apps to Android at the discretion of the phone manufacturer. Samsung for example produces competing apps that they bundle with every phone.

Microsoft is just butthurt that they aren't allowed to bundle IE with Windows anymore.




RE: Failsearch group more like...
By inighthawki on 4/15/2013 3:40:59 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
crosoft is just butthurt that they aren't allowed to bundle IE with Windows anymore

Which is a HUGE double standard considering the "openness" of windows and the ability for any user or OEM to install competing browsers on their devices.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By Flunk on 4/15/2013 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 3
What are you talking about? It's perfectly easy to install 3rd party browsers on your iOS device... Wait, it isn't is it?

To be fair, Windows Phone doesn't have any real 3rd party browser options as well. Android does allow 3rd party browsers and basically stands alone in that regard. I am unsure about Blackberry OS 10.

P.S. Every OS is bundled with a web browser today. Microsoft was just first out of the gate.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By inighthawki on 4/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Failsearch group more like...
By maugrimtr on 4/16/2013 9:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
More anti-EU rhetoric. You guys were practically salivating at the thought of the EU fining Google but lo and behold, they didn't. The EU dictates the behavior of MONOPOLIES when their present behavior HARMS CONSUMERS.

Android picking a single browser does not harm consumers because they can go buy an iPhone or a Windows phone. They are NOT a monopoly and their behavior DOES NOT harm consumers.

Windows packing one automatically installed browser was a different scenario. Microsoft had a monopoly, their browser was inferior, non compliant with standards and had proprietary bits that remain an issue even today (i.e. it did harm consumers). In the past decade, MS were forced to adapt because their monopoly has been broken - they're now complaining about developers working towards Webkit and not testing properly for IE8+.


By inighthawki on 4/16/2013 11:11:16 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you don't understand what a monopoly is. You should look up the definition. Microsoft isn't one. There are so many things wrong with your statement.

I do NOT want the EU to fine Google. It's just as outrageous as what they did with Microsoft. Anyone who believes it's justified for either party is just straight up wrong.


By Cheesew1z69 on 4/16/2013 3:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Windows packing one automatically installed browser was a different scenario.
No, and no, they didn't have a monopoly. There was other browsers and other OS.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By KCjoker on 4/16/2013 6:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
You can't really believe what you just posted because it was insanely wrong.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By sprockkets on 4/15/2013 4:30:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Which is a HUGE double standard considering the "openness" of windows and the ability for any user or OEM to install competing browsers on their devices.


Forgetting the 90s and early 2000s when MS forced OEMs to pay a windows license on any computer, whether it had it or not?

Also forgot how if you didn't put IE and WM as the default, you'd lose your OEM discounts of each windows license.


By ResStellarum on 4/16/2013 12:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Forgetting the 90s and early 2000s when MS forced OEMs to pay a windows license on any computer, whether it had it or not?


Microsoft still does that right now. Except now it uses secret NDA's to hide its anticompetitive practices. Any OEM's impudent enough to offer alternative OS's have their Windows license discounts restricted, thereby punishing them from straying from the Windows monopoly.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/15/2013 7:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which is a HUGE double standard


Android is free. Not only is it free, but it's open source. So Google doesn't even care if you write your own custom fork of it, like Amazon did with the Kindle Fire, which completely excludes the usual baked-in Google services. So no, this isn't a double standard.

I'm not supporting the EU's crusade against Microsoft for something as silly as a browser, but the situation IS different.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By inighthawki on 4/15/2013 7:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how the price of the OS or whether it's open source has ANY reflection whatsoever on the situation. If people don't like the way Microsoft bundles their software, then don't buy Windows. There's no God-given right of the people that says all software that you pay for must have what you want.

It's like trying to say that Intel needs to provide versions of their CPUs with integrated graphics from AMD. No of course not. Intel's hardware designs are Intel's. Microsoft's software designs are Microsoft's.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/15/2013 7:26:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
If people don't like the way Microsoft bundles their software, then don't buy Windows.


Wtf...I COMPLETELY AGREE!!!

I have NEVER EVER supported the EU in their campaign against Microsoft. I've been nothing but critical of it.

quote:
I'm not sure how the price of the OS or whether it's open source has ANY reflection whatsoever on the situation.


Of course it does. Are you kidding? Google isn't even in control of Android, that's the point. The carriers decide what's bundled with the phones anyway. People can make forks at will, it's open source, it's all good.

quote:
There's no God-given right of the people that says all software that you pay for must have what you want.


Stop putting goddamn words in my mouth. I never said that!

quote:
It's like trying to say that Intel needs to provide versions of their CPUs with integrated graphics from AMD. No of course not. Intel's hardware designs are Intel's. Microsoft's software designs are Microsoft's.


I'm going to murder you....stop assuming I'm on the EU's side!!


By inighthawki on 4/15/2013 7:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
I do apologize, I did make assumptions as to your side of the argument you were on based on several of your other posts. For that I'm sorry.

I do however still disagree with you about the fact that price or open/closed sources nature of a project has any relation to this. Open source software certainly makes it way easier to just branch off and do your own thing, but being closed source is not bad or evil, and doesn't mean that any special considerations should be made.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By ResStellarum on 4/16/2013 12:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
So IE can be completely removed from the system on Windows can it? No it can't. That's the difference between Android and Windows. Chrome can be completely replaced with another browser. The Android system isn't unnecessarily entwined with Chrome like IE is with Windows.

Windows has never been open. It's a proprietary locked down OS. It always has been. If you want a real open OS then try the AOSP, or GNU/Linux.


By Cheesew1z69 on 4/16/2013 4:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can remove IE...


By theapparition on 4/17/2013 9:20:14 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, lots of fail with your post.

Chrome isn't the standard browser in Android. The standard browser is Android Browser, which can't be removed without root access.

IE can be completely removed from Windows.

And even though Android is open source, when boot locked and unrooted, it basically is a closed down OS. So the vast majority of the OS run in the world (Windows, iOS, Android, and OSX) are all basically locked for 99% of their users. Clearly, the public doesn't care about open OS.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By tayb on 4/15/2013 6:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft bundling = BAD. BAD MICROSOFT. $2 BILLION FINE! NO! BAD!

Google bundling = Good for Google. I see no problem here. Microsoft? They're just butthurt.

I swear, you guys would defend Google for killing puppies. You would tell me that it was more humane and the right thing to do.


By sprockkets on 4/15/2013 7:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I swear, you guys would defend Google for killing puppies. You would tell me that it was more humane and the right thing to do.


Here, let's help you and the rest of the world understand the actual legal difference between the two.

Microsoft: Sold Microsoft Office, then Windows, with various versions of it until 1998, at which point they reached their dominant position, is when they started to bundle IE and become hostile to OEMs by demanding they put IE on the desktop and require every computer to be bundled with MS Windows.

Google: Stipulated that if you wanted to carry the Android Store, they required adhering to certain design stipulations of the OS and software to make sure their apps and others would work. This is the OHA. Same behavior from day one until now.

Microsoft has no valid complaint. Anti-trust laws do not prevent monopolies, but abuse of them once reached.

Google did not change any policies of Android once becoming the dominant OS.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/15/2013 7:15:53 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, dummy, Google isn't the one doing the bundling. It's the carriers!

Google doesn't even install Chrome, their OWN browser, on the phones. Hello? Every phone I've ever owned I had to install it manually.

Stop with the trolling, seriously.


RE: Failsearch group more like...
By Strunf on 4/16/2013 8:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
The difference is that Google reacted quickly and didn't went on a "legal battle" against the EU, MS on the other hand delayed the whole process and even went as far as to go against the agreement for many months, had MS complied since day one they would probably pay less a lot less, hell if MS had changed tactics once they heard someone was complaining they would probably not pay a dimm, but then again sometimes paying the fine costs less than changing the ways you do business, that's why the fines when dealing with huge companies have to be huge too or they will just keep paying the fines without any disregards for the law.


By ResStellarum on 4/16/2013 12:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft is just butthurt that they aren't allowed to bundle IE with Windows any more.


The problem is they do still bundle IE with Windows . Even in EU versions where there's a ballot box, IE is still preinstalled, and even the ballot box itself is running inside IE to top it all off. That's the biggest middle finger Microsoft could have possibly shown the EU.

Microsoft deliberately made IE inextricable from Windows. That way OEM's can't remove it and put other browsers on it instead. That's anticompetitive.

As far as others complaining about Android being a monopoly, well, Google's services are purely optional, even the Chrome browser can easily be replaced with other browsers like Firefox or Opera. The same can't be said of Windows. That's why Microsoft is a bad company - the user has no choice but to use their software to start with. And as we all know, a good 20-40% of people just accept the defaults, and Microsoft knows this. That's the only reason IE has any marketshare.


By Cheesew1z69 on 4/16/2013 4:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft is just butthurt that they aren't allowed to bundle IE with Windows anymore.
Unless this is some new law, this has never been the case.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














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