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EU Launches Search and Advertising Antitrust Investigation Against Google

Has Google Treated Competitors Unfairly in Search Results and Ads?

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Update 2: Google has posted a response on its Public Policy Blog.

UpdateFairSearch, the organization that was formed in opposition to Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA, sent us the following statement from Tom Barnett, counsel to Expedia (part of the FairSearch organization) and former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the US Justice Department:

"The European Commission’s announcement of a formal antitrust probe, looking into allegations that Google abuses its dominance in search to favor its own services and lower competitors’ search result rankings, underscores why the FairSearch.org coalition is urging the Justice Department to challenge Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software to protect consumers and competition in the online travel market."

Original Article: News is out this morning that Google is being investigated by European Union antitrust regulators. They are looking into the possibility that Google is discriminating against competitors in it search results and ads.  

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports: "The European Commission will check whether Google ‘imposes exclusivity obligations on advertising partners, preventing them from placing certain types of competing ads on their websites, as well as on computer and software vendors, with the aim of shutting out competing search tools,’ it said in an e-mailed statement today."

The Commission also reportedly said it will investigate Quality Score manipulation allegations. 

Google is quoted as saying that it’s strived to "do the right thing" by users and the industry, "But there’s always going to be room for improvement, and so we’ll be working with the commission to address any concerns."

Regulators could potentially fine the company up to 10 percent of revenue for monopoly abuses, according to reports. However, according to the New York Times, the European Commission said it does not have "proof of infringements." 

Meanwhile, China is prepared to prosecute Google over maps. The Chinese government has indicated that it intends to take legal action against the company if it doesn’t seek and obtain a mapping license. 

 

Google China Map

China wants to make sure all maps match its own official maps. Google has reportedly not applied for a license. 

Google is also rumored to be trying to acquire Groupon, with the latest reported offer at $5.3 billion, which if accepted, would be Google’s largest acquisition to date.

 

EU Launches Search and Advertising Antitrust Investigation Against Google
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  • http://setroll.info S.E. Troll

    When Google starts linking to other search engine result pages, we SEOs will surely be able to get top ranking on the second page of results from less aggressive search engines. This could be great news to the only people who matter on the Internet – us, the SEOs.

    SEOs in Europe might want to consider optimizing for all those search engines your users have never heard of. And by “optimizing” I mean submitting every page on every site you manage to every unloved search engine on the continent.

  • http://gnampf.blogspot.com/ Bernd Kastenbrot

    >> And by “optimizing” I mean submitting every page on every site you manage to every unloved search engine on the continent.

    S.E. Troll, you’re a very good SEO. ))))

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