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Google and EU Reach Tentative Settlement in Antitrust Case 45

AmiMoJo writes "Google has agreed to display competing site's results along side those from its own products in search results. The agreement comes as part of an EU investigation into Google's domination of the search market and its promotion of Google products at the top of each page. The EU has published screenshots (scroll down) showing how the changes will look once rolled out." Part of the deal includes Google avoiding any fines. The appearance changes to search results are minor; Google services in the results are more strongly highlighted as such, and links to alternative services are provided (e.g. Yelp for Google Local results). Less visible are the major changes: third parties will be able to opt-out of having their data used for specialized Google searches, and "Google proposes no longer to include in its agreements with publishers any written or unwritten obligations that would require them to source online search advertisements exclusively from Google ... [or] to impose obligations that would prevent advertisers from porting or managing search advertising campaigns across competing advertising platforms."
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Google and EU Reach Tentative Settlement in Antitrust Case

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  • Nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @01:13PM (#46163545)

    Damn nice to see that last part about competing ad platforms. That sort of clause is the sort of thing I would expect Apple to do. It's pretty blatently ant-competitive.

  • Less Useful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swv3752 ( 187722 ) <swv3752&hotmail,com> on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @01:30PM (#46163713) Homepage Journal

    So while Google has to stop anti-competitive practices, they also have to make there web pages less useful. Brilliant.

  • Re:Less Useful (Score:2, Insightful)

    by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @01:49PM (#46163883)

    Kind of like the decision of Windows * N, offered without windows media player?

    And one can counter that "at least the user can still download an alternative media player", but then.. so could they with the regular version.

    I'm not sure how Google's web pages are going to be less useful anyway. It's still going to give you Google's top results, just a few less of them to make space for alternatives. If those alternatives are demonstrably bad, then sure they don't deserve a spot in there. But if they're reasonably good, surely it only helps the user to check further options?

    Whether or not Google should be forced to do this by political/regulatory mandate is another matter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @02:03PM (#46164033)

    Will I get the choice to turn alternatives off, should I choose to not see them?

  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:20PM (#46164873)

    Seriously people, just use Bing.
    Sign up for the Rewards shit and get free Redbox rentals or free gift cards for .
    You'll get a massively better search experience for porn, and a better search experience for maps (this is more subjective though - I love Bing's aerial view), and almost an identical search experience for everything else. Bing doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Google (I don't think they have auto translate or reverse image search) but for 99.999% of what I search for, Bing gets me there just as fast as Google, and they pay me for the privilege.

    Regardless of what you use, remember to block ads always and block javascript by default. Fuck em. The ad-supported web is a cesspool, and if the internet ad business died tonight we'd all be better off in terms of privacy, security, performance, layout and design, speed, and probably even content - no more aggregators, much less spam and far fewer parked domains, fewer shitty youtube "celebrities", etc.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor