FairSearch is calling attention to a new campaign by The Open Internet Project seeking to raise “further scrutiny” of Google’s potential settlement with the European Commission over a lengthy antitrust investigation.
The Open Internet Project is a group of European digital companies. From a FairSearch statement:
“If this settlement were to happen, it would actually make matters worse,” said Christoph Keese, executive vice president at Axel Springer. Mathias Döpfner, the chief executive of Axel Springer, said that his company and others are afraid of Google’s power over them in an extensive letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, published in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) last month.
In the letter, Döpfner wrote of Google’s large, unavoidable role in the online ecosystem, and its threat to the future of online commerce in Europe. He calls on European agencies and institutions to take action to protect their businesses from the threat of Google’s behavior. Döpfner calls Axel Springer the David to Google’s Goliath and says: “We are afraid of Google. I must state this very clearly and frankly, because few of my colleagues dare do so publicly.”
Google’s latest settlement proposal to the European Commission has drawn criticism from European politicians as well, including Socialist French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg and German Interior Ministry official Ole Schröder, who both said the European Commission “shouldn’t accept the deal as currently formulated.” Other members of the European Commission, including Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier have also expressed concerns about the tentative deal.
You can find the full agreement Google made with the Commission here. FairSearch, of course, has been critical of it.
“The current proposal is in no way less harmful than Google’s previous proposals which were rightfully rejected,” it said in a statement last week. “We urge the Commission to reject the proposal and protect competition, consumers and innovation.”
Image via FairSearch