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Thread: European Commission Investigates Google for Violations of its Antitrust Law

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    What's Jailbreak? Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default European Commission Investigates Google for Violations of its Antitrust Law


    Google has found itself in the European Commission’s center of focus over allegations that it favors its own services unfairly with Android and web search products. The European Commission is set to investigate whether Google’s policy of forcing smartphone and tablet manufacturers to agree to strict licensing terms in exchange for the ability to bundle Google services, such as Gmail and Google, with their Android devices has:

    …illegally hindered the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems, mobile communication applications and services in the European Economic Area (EEA).
    The commission has reason to believe that Google may be leveraging its market position to require or incentivize manufacturers to use Google’s services exclusively rather than turning to any local alternatives. The European Commission will also investigate whether Google has prevented the development and marketing of non-Google approved Android forks. For those of you who didn’t know, these proceedings are quite similar to that of the charges that were leveled by the commission against Microsoft in 2009 over the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

    To make matters worse, the commission will also separately be determining whether Google’s web search practices favored its own comparison shopping services over others. This could have been done by the company “showing Google Shopping more prominently on the screen,” thereby decreasing traffic that would go to competitors. The commission wrote the following regarding the matter:

    [The commission is] concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries - this is to the detriment of consumers, and stifles innovation.
    Those of you who are interested in reading the full statement by the EU Commission in charge of the competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, can do so below:

    The Commission's objective is to apply EU antitrust rules to ensure that companies operating in Europe, wherever they may be based, do not artificially deny European consumers as wide a choice as possible or stifle innovation.

    In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.

    I have also launched a formal antitrust investigation of Google's conduct concerning mobile operating systems, apps and services. Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people's daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.
    Source: The New York Times

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  2. #2
    Livin' the SPIDEY Life SpiderManAPV's Avatar
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    This lawsuit kinda seems like a farce to me. Penalized for not giving as much preference to their competitors? So they're saying that if I go looking for a car the Ford place should have to have an equal amount of space on Toyota? Then have to mention Toyota whenever trying to sell a ford? Of course a company is going to prioritize their own product! Duh!

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  3. #3
    Default Not the same
    Quote Originally Posted by SpidermanAPV View Post
    This lawsuit kinda seems like a farce to me. Penalized for not giving as much preference to their competitors? So they're saying that if I go looking for a car the Ford place should have to have an equal amount of space on Toyota? Then have to mention Toyota whenever trying to sell a ford? Of course a company is going to prioritize their own product! Duh!
    Yes, but how would you like it if you were selling Fords, and I was selling Toyotas and I owned all the Tv stations, radio stations, newspapers and all the billboards, and I was only advertising Toyotas? Get the picture?

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    Livin' the SPIDEY Life SpiderManAPV's Avatar
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    Default European Commission Investigates Google for Violations of its Antitrust Law
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibkoool View Post
    Yes, but how would you like it if you were selling Fords, and I was selling Toyotas and I owned all the Tv stations, radio stations, newspapers and all the billboards, and I was only advertising Toyotas? Get the picture?
    In all fairness, yahoo and bing are partnered in an ad network. In fact, a quick search shows that there's approximately 425 ad networks right now. Source

    I'm pretty against many of google's policies usually, but in this case I just don't see how giving yourself preference can be illegal.

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