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Google EU The Almighty Buck

Alleged Secret Google Antitrust Proposals Leaked 116

itwbennett writes "Google's latest proposals aimed at avoiding an antitrust fine from European authorities have been leaked amid growing anger over the secrecy surrounding the case. The documents, which have been verified by sources in possession of the originals, revealed the full remedies put forward by Google, the questionnaire that rivals have been asked to fill in giving their response to the remedies and a comparison document showing the changes in Google's remedies since the last proposals. Unlike the first round of so-called 'market testing,' Google's revised proposals have not been made public and were only sent to 125 interested parties who were warned that they were not to be made public."
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Alleged Secret Google Antitrust Proposals Leaked

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  • Hmmm .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:15AM (#45355215) Homepage

    So, how exactly is it that Google gets to dictate that these stay private?

    It's Google who committed the offenses, and they're being punished by the European regulators.

    Why does this seem like Google is the one dictating how this plays out? That makes no sense to me.

    These back room deals don't help any but Google -- who is no doubt proposing things which don't actually limit or change how they do things, but just a few token gestures.

    • The information in the documents could be considered trade secrets. Google has a right to keep them sectret.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        After Snowden it all just LOL.
      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        no, they don't, as being proposal "to interested parties" to keep the company from being fined big ass sum of money.

        furthermore, they're a publicly traded company and all the investors have the right to know... in fact it would have been only just if they had given the info out as press release due to that..

        and no company should ever be allowed to bri... negotiate plea deals behind closed doors. it's a fucking travesty whenever it happens.

      • The information in the documents could be considered trade secrets. Google has a right to keep them sectret.

        Or, alternately, we conclude Google is just trying to cover their own asses and drag this on for as long as possible while still doing the exact same thing.

        "It took Google almost four years to come up with an antitrust remedy proposal, which would only benefit Google," said Michael Weber from Hot Maps, one of the original complainants. "The search giant's allegation that complainants are obstructionis

        • Anti-trust laws exist to prevent capitalism from working as intended. Capitalism as intended is bad.
          • Actually the whole idea is to keep capitalism working as it is intended, as a self-organising system of commerce and employment, while buttressing against pathological states that such a system can fall into. It's a way to - in principle - get the best of both worlds.

      • How are they trade secrets? That's a load of BS.
    • Bad as the NSA are, I don't want to blame them for everything bad in this world; but Snowden-based news stories have clearly shown that they use their broad power not just to spy for the military but to maintain US economic advantage, and I would not be shocked at all if the EU was given a warm and courteous* NSL or similar nastygram to scare them into both being soft on US-based Google and giving them a de facto speedy but non-public trial.

      The proposed changes to search results seem reasonable to me, but t

  • by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:45AM (#45355445)

    This information is completely missing from the summary and from the article it links to.

    • by Hyler ( 99628 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:51AM (#45355491) Homepage

      FTA: "[...]abused its dominant market position. [...] prioritizing its services in search results, scraping content from rival websites, tying advertisers in with exclusivity clauses [...] making it difficult to move advertising campaigns away from its sites."

    • Various online services - advertisers, travel sites, online stores - object to the fact that Google prioritises itself and its partners over organic search results on the results page. They argue that it disadvantages anyone who's not paying to be one of Google's partners.

      • I have a hard time seeing that as wrong. Why should paid links not be at the top of their search results? Do they sue the billboard companies for only putting ads from paying customers on their billboards?

  • Look, kill it, quick! Just like they did with AT&T

    Cant have those pesky companies making a profit in this socialist 'state'. I still want to know who Google pissed off to bring the wrath of the feds down on them.

    • You talk about fair markets and your example is AT&T, a company that had a government-enforced monopoly? You must be a real threat on the debate circuit.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:26AM (#45355805)

    Google's revised proposals have not been made public and were only sent to 125 interested parties who were warned that they were not to be made public.

    Apparently they never heard the maxim that the only way to keep a secret is if just two people know and one of them is dead.

  • I'm still waiting for them to go after Apple for browser bundling. Until then their crusades will ring hollow.

  • Let me log with something else than a Google account on my Android. Why shouldn't I be able to log with a Microsoft Live, Apple iCloud, or any OpenID/OAuth provider I so choose? Thanks for the OS, but I'd like it to come with no strings attached.
    • by kqs ( 1038910 )

      Odd. I was able to log in with an apple icloud account on my android to read email. And I'm pretty sure you never need to log in with a google account if you don't want to use google services.

      What are you trying to do, and what is happening such that you cannot do it?

      • by Alarash ( 746254 )
        When you first boot up the OS, you have to setup a Google account or no account at all.
        • by kqs ( 1038910 )

          Sure, so you pick no account at all, then add other accounts as desired. Just like my iPad needs an iTunes account or none at all, and the Windows phone I used a years ago needed a MS account or none. It's not much of a shackle if you can say "nah, no thanks" and still have a perfectly usable device.

          Unless your goal is to use google personalized services (mail, storage, phone backup, etc) without creating a google account, which seems unlikely to end well for anyone involved.

  • When is somebody going to raise an antitrust case against the EU?
  • And no, I'm not talking about the Android-related controversy. I'm talking about all the GPL'd code that they use internally.

    According to the GPL, if you modify some GPL code and then make your modified version available to others, you also have to make the code available.

    Google isn't releasing desktop apps with most of their products, but they are making it possible for people to use the GPL code they modified through their web services and whatnot.

    It seems to me that just because they let the public m

The absent ones are always at fault.