Google’s antitrust troubles in Europe aren’t even close to being over, according to a man who would know. Vice President of the European Commission Joaquin Almunia – who’s also the organization’s competition commissioner – indicated that more complaints are on the way, and he intends to take them seriously.
Aoife White reported this morning after attending a competition law conference in Switzerland, “Joaquin Almunia . . . said a complaint about Google filed by Microsoft Corp. last week will ‘not be the last one’ and regulators had received more than 500 responses to questionnaires sent to Web companies, publishers, and advertisers earlier this year.”
That’s bad news for Google, considering it indicates a veritable mob felt the need to express an opinion (and everyone knows people are more likely to complain than compliment).
Then here’s one other piece of information execs at the company will find discouraging: White wrote, “The EU’s antitrust agency would be ‘as firm as possible in eliminating all kinds of barriers’ that may prevent rivals from challenging the world’s biggest search engine, Almunia said . . .”
So it sounds like Larry Page may want to send a few more lawyers overseas to handle the paperwork and issue statements, with perhaps a few dozen standing by if the situation gets worse.
On the bright side, this development hasn’t worried Google’s shareholders (assuming they’ve heard about it). Google’s stock is up 0.21 percent at the moment, even though the Dow and the Nasdaq are down 0.04 percent and 0.07 percent, respectively.