With Google potentially facing a fine of up to $6.6B after the European Commission charged the company of abusing its dominant position in search, its lawyers have now filed a 130-page rebuttal. In it, the company attempts to use a legal technicality to argue that it cannot be fined for favouring its own products in search results … expand full story
European commission November 4
European commission September 1
It seems Google’s legal woes in Europe will never end. The European Commission has long been running an investigation into whether Google was guilty of anti-competitive behaviour in Europe, which finally resulted in a filing of charges in April and a warning of large fines in June. It may be next year – some six years after the investigation began – before the final ruling.
A second anti-trust investigation into Android followed, and a third one not long afterwards, this time into its web advertising business. As if all that weren’t enough, the NY Times reports that a US law firm and European public affairs company have created a joint venture to help companies file civil claims against Google in the event that the EC finds it guilty of the first set of charges … expand full story
European commission July 22
The first antitrust case found that Google abused its dominant position in search to promote its own products over that of competitors. with the company told to expect large fines. A second one is underway, to determine whether Google forced smartphone manufacturers to favor its own apps over competitor ones in return for permission to use Android.
The FT now reports that a number of companies selling online advertising have asked the European Commission to consider a third case, to investigate Google’s dominance of the web advertising business … expand full story
European commission June 29
European commission May 15
The Financial Times is reporting that European mobile carriers are planning to block Google and other web ads in order to reduce demands on their networks and break Google’s hold on advertising (via TNW).
According to the story, which cites anonymous sources, the carriers have installed software from Israeli ad-blocking firm Shine in their data centers to block advertising in Web pages and apps, but not social networks.
Many websites, 9to5Google among them, depend on ad revenue to deliver free content to their readers. Any move to block ads could have far-reaching consequences … expand full story
European commission April 15
As expected, the EU has formally accused Google of abusing its dominant position in search to favor links to its own products over those offered by competitors. The complaint takes the form of a Statement of Objections: a formal method of announcing that it believes Google has acted illegally and that a full investigation is underway.
The Commission’s preliminary view is that such conduct infringes EU antitrust rules because it stifles competition and harms consumers. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that “Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”
Google has not wasted any time in attempting to convince the Commission otherwise, arguing in a blog post that the evidence shows that Google has not harmed traffic to competitor websites … expand full story