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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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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
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.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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