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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 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
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.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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