“Google faces a new antitrust attack from European Union regulators who allege the search engine skews results in its own favor and unfairly restricts rival online advertising platforms,” Aoife White and Stephanie Bodoni report for Bloomberg. “The European Commission sent the Alphabet Inc. unit two statements of objections Thursday, widening a five-year probe and increasing the risk of hefty fines for the U.S. Internet giant.”
“Adding to an antitrust complaint over Google’s Android smartphone software earlier this year, EU regulators said they have ‘a broad range of additional evidence and data’ that Google systematically favors its own comparison-shopping service in its general search results,” White and Bodoni report. “‘We see that happen very, very, very often,”’ EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told journalists Thursday, about how often Google pushes its own search results. ‘This is where we have the strongest evidence and it’s the same kind of investigation that we are pursuing when it comes to travel and local search to see if we find a pattern that suggests that Google is abusing a dominant position in general search.'”
“Google also hindered competition for online ads with its AdSense for Search product to place advertising on websites, including retailers, telecommunications operators and newspapers, the commission said,” White and Bodoni report. “The company prevented customers from accepting rival search ads from 2006 and maintained restrictions on how competitors’ ads were displayed when it altered contracts in 2009, according to the EU’s antitrust arm.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?
You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)
That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.
The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.
In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone.
Eric Schmidt-backed startup stealthily working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House – October 9, 2015
U.S. FTC report details how Google skewed search results in its own favor – March 20, 2015
The FTC’s missed opportunity on Google – January 4, 2013
Google to settle U.S. FTC antitrust probe, sources say – January 2, 2013
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Google outfoxes U.S. FCC – April 17, 2012
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011
Wired: Google, CIA Invest in ‘future’ of Web monitoring – July 29, 2010