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Google Businesses EU The Almighty Buck

Google Offers To Treat Rivals Equally Via Auction (reuters.com) 28

Google has offered to display rival comparison shopping sites via an auction, as it aims to stave off further EU antitrust fines, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters. From a report: Google is under pressure to come up with a big initiative to level the playing field in comparison shopping, but its proposal was roundly criticized by competitors as inadequate, the sources said. EU enforcers see the antitrust case as a benchmark for investigations into other areas dominated by the U.S. search giant such as travel and online mapping. Google has already been fined a record 2.4 billion euros ($2.9 bln) by the European Commission for favoring its own service, and could face millions of euros in fresh fines if it fails to treat rivals and its own service equally.
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Google Offers To Treat Rivals Equally Via Auction

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  • The article only spoke to how Google wanted to reserve the first two results for their own and when that was rightly criticized it wanted to set a floor price so it could be "outbid" by competitors. Which, once again, was right criticized for entirely missing the point.

    This is really sad to see Google, which was a bastion of good search results come to this. The avarice which has infected the company is no longer overcome by the innovation of product and delivery it once had. I'd be fine with paying a coupl

  • Thanks EU (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For nothing. Google's rivals suck. That is why we don't use them. But thanks for forcing the sucky option upon us.

    • Brave is a fairly good browser and an excellent replacement for Chrome.

      DuckDuckGo is not bad; with !G it's just as good. It's worth two keystrokes when you need it. :)

      Protonmail is good for replacing ones' person email. It's privacy centric from end to end. However the free version is limited to one account, 150 emails per day and 500 MB of storage. So it's not good for having multiple accounts.

      I'm still checking out zoho as a replacement for google docs. Not certain yet how I like it.
  • I use Bing and run an ad blocker on my PCs.

    On my phone, Chrome and the built-in Chrome-lite that other apps can load default to Google search and I don't have any decent ad blocking options without resorting to root (which I had on my prior phone but is a pain to manage because of fucking Safety Net).

    The Google search "experience" in a Google browser on a Google platform with Google ads is fucking intolerable. The location-based ads (and notifications for them) are particularly egregious. I don't give a s

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:56PM (#55222107) Homepage Journal

    So Google sets up an auction in which bidders compete to pay Google the most money. Then Google enters the auction as both the seller and also as a bidder?

    Am I missing something here? Or is Google actually proposing something you wouldn't have to be stupid to believe might work?

  • Expected Outcomes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:56PM (#55222115)

    from the /. summary:

    Google has offered to display rival comparison shopping sites via an auction..but its proposal was roundly criticized by competitors as inadequate.

    Well of course they did; Google's European competitors do not want a level playing field, they want one tilted for themselves. Because "EU enforcers" are biased in support of EU companies, these competitors know that they can achieve a better settlement for themselves than one balanced and so are rejecting the offer of a neutral process.

    Regulatory outcomes depend on who holds political and financial influence over and among regulatory bodies as well as the ideology of the regulators. (See: regulatory capture [wikipedia.org]). In Europe, Google is a foreign company, and the "EU First" attitude and internal EU political influence will prevail over principals of law and even-handedness.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Your conspiracy theory is rather undermined by the fact that FTA includes their fairly reasonable complaints. Therefore your conclusion is unwarranted.

      The current proposal is to have the first two slots reserved for Google, and then set a base price for the auction based on Google's bid minus operating costs. Does that seem reasonable to you?

      As for "EU first", I think there is some projection from "American First" going on there, but ask yourself this: If that were the policy, why hasn't the EU done more to

  • I wonder how much pain Google can endure before it's worthwhile not to be in Europe at all? I'm sure there is a point where it's not worth it. But exactly where that is I'm not sure.

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