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Google Businesses EU The Almighty Buck The Courts

EU Poised To Fine Google More Than $1 Billion in Antitrust Case (marketwatch.com) 102

Google is braced for a fine of potentially more than 1bn euro ($1.18 billion) as Brussels prepares to make the first of three antitrust decisions on the search group's practices, the first sanction by a leading competition regulator on the way it operates. From a report: The penalty, expected to be announced in the coming weeks, could exceed the record 1.1 billion euro bill slapped on Intel, in 2009 for anti-competitive behavior in the computer-chip market, the two people told The Times. The European Commission's antitrust body declined to comment to MarketWatch on the FT report, but referred to the latest steps taken in the case against Google. In July last year, the commission reiterated its conclusion that the search giant had "abused its dominant position by systematically favoring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages." Google and its parent company Alphabet were then given 10 weeks to respond to the findings. Reuters reported last month that Google had attempted to settle the dispute with the EU three times in the last six years, but the sides had failed to reach a compromise.

EU Poised To Fine Google More Than $1 Billion in Antitrust Case

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    systematically favoring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages.

    I have problems with Google, but .... fining them for favoring its own shopping service? Come on. It's their search engine, and their shopping service, and I don't like it and don't use it. Easy enough.

    What they need to be fined for is collecting data on people who are NOT their customers and turning the entire web not to mention email into a giant surveillance network with Google trackers embedded everywhere. Most people have no idea how to avoid the Google Big Data Machine even if they are trying to a

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @11:08AM (#54633171)

      I have problems with Google, but .... fining them for favoring its own shopping service?

      Usually the argument is that if you are legally considered a monopoly (which Google probably is under EU law) then it is illegal for you to use your monopoly position in that area to promote or favor your other products or business areas. It's essentially the same thing that Microsoft ran afoul of with IE that led to requirements by the EU that Windows users would be able to select which browser they wanted to use when installing Windows. Whether or not you agree with that law, it is still the law that companies are required to abide by.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @11:12AM (#54633193)

      It's the abuse of a dominant position in a field in an attempt to gain a dominant position in another field.

      Think Microsoft trying to push IE and IIS onto everyone and getting away with it because they are the dominant OS. This is anti-competitive and anti-capitalist. The capitalist model requires competition to ensure better product eliminate inferior ones. Propping up a mediocre product with a dominant market position in another market to make it that way competitive to a superior product should go against everything any liberal or capitalist minded person stands for.

    • I have problems with Google, but .... fining them for favoring its own shopping service? Come on. It's their search engine, and their shopping service, and I don't like it and don't use it

      Not only this but two stories older is Amazon patenting using their store wifi to outright block people from even checking someone else's shopping service. Are they not paying attention to the Google case or what?

    • You don't have to look at them, do you? Has anyone got a gun to your back, urging you to look at them?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is the EU trying to make the #1 search for the term "EU" return the phrase "money grubbing whores?" Because this is how you end up with "money grubbing whores" as the #1 result when you search for "EU."

    Just saying...

  • I didn't read up on the specifics of this one, but I don't believe I agree with this, from what I do know. Intel, Microsoft, etc. certainly deserved the judgments they received. But in this case, no one has to use Google. Nor is it a product anyone necessary pays for (monetarily at least). There are other search engines and anyone is free to use them. Google just did a much better job than anyone else. If someone doesn't like the results that they point them to, they can use Bing or something else.
    • Nobody has to use MS, the alternative is actually free. You also don't have to use IE, every single alternative is free AND has no drawback (unlike Linux, where you could at least argue that software for Windows doesn't run easily on it).

      So what's different with Google again?

      • Nobody has to use MS, the alternative is actually free. You also don't have to use IE, every single alternative is free AND has no drawback

        Wrong on both counts. People have to use MS to interoperate with other people who use MS. This sometimes still includes governments. And there is a drawback to non-IE browsers, or at least there was: ActiveX support, which was needed for many sites to function. And that's a problem which was deliberately created by Microsoft, by abusing their market position.

        • Like the drawback of not using Google so the Google-login doesn't work? There are quite some advantages in convenience if you stay in the "Google Family".

    • But in this case, no one has to use Google.

      But it is the dominant search engine, and that's what the EU uses as a criterium.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hey which big company has money that we can take...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The EU did not choose that Google would violate antitrust laws. Google did.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @10:52AM (#54633047)
    >> Google had attempted to settle the dispute with the EU three times in the last six years

    If Google had better lawyers, maybe their attempt to drag this out without resolution would have extended past ten years rather than a mere six.
  • Isn't making Google pay for this traffic a violation of Net Neutrality?

  • No judge, no jury (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Friday June 16, 2017 @11:05AM (#54633157) Homepage Journal

    The European Commission's antitrust body declined to comment

    Why comment, if you don't need to convince anyone — neither beyond reasonable doubt nor even on the preponderance of evidence?

  • Well, first of all, Google and the EU better be clear about which part of Google faces any potential fine, because they won't have too much success trying to fine the Google parent for the alleged acts of its subsidiary. That is a much smaller part of Google. I wish reporters would get this point right in their stories.
    • It's technically correct. Google is the search company, the parent is Alphabet (one of the stupidest corporate names ever). The suit is against Google, not Alphabet.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @11:58AM (#54633517)
    They should fine Bing for antitrust reasons and promoting a Google monopoly by being so unusably awful.
  • The Apple case in Ireland and this case as well should indicate to any firm that dealing with the EU, they will be treated punitively in direct proportion to the size of their wallet.

    You're a success? Clearly, you should be punished for that.

    You made a deal with a nominally-sovereign EU government? Too bad! It's not the government's fault, it's yours - please pay us $13 billion.

    Google: you've developed more or less an entire search/commerce ecosystem that none of the Euro-chauvinist competitors can beat?

  • Outrageous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StormReaver ( 59959 )

    Microsoft gets fined a few hundred million dollars for causing real, irreparable damage to a critical world industry for decades, but Google gets fined over a billion dollars because some people couldn't be bothered to scroll down a bit? This is mind-boggling stupidity!

  • What a circus. Google isn't forcing anyone to use its search engine. If the EU has such a massive problem with a company promoting it's own businesses in the course of FREE use of its search features, then they can just block Google altogether. Good luck with Bing! I hope Google tells them to F off.

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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