Google finally settles EU anti-trust case, agrees to give equal prominence to rival services

Photo: npr.org

Photo: npr.org

After more than three years of investigations and negotiations, Google and the European Union anti-trust authorities have finally settled the case in which the company was accused of abusing its dominant position in search.

The tl;dr version of the dispute was that Google search results were giving undue prominence to its own services – such as Google News and Google Shopping – and freezing out rivals. Google was eventually given a deadline of 31st January last year to submit proposals on how it would resolve the problem …  Read more

Amazon partnering with HTC for highly rumored Amazon Phone

Amazon has long been said to be working on a smartphone carrying its brand, and it looks like it HTC could be its hardware partner.

That’s according to a report from the Financial Times, which cites people familiar with the project in saying that three different smartphones are currently in development with one being “at an advanced stage of development.”

“We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands,” HTC chief of marketing Ben Ho told the Financial Times, but declined to comment on any specific relationship with Amazon.

Shipping a phone with both the HTC and Amazon logos would mean more than just branding for the phone, as Amazon would be able to take over much of the Android operating system experience as it has done with the Kindle Fire tablets. HTC partnered with Facebook earlier this year for the not-so-popular-now HTC First featuring Facebook Home, but borrowing software features from the Kindle Fire like Mayday, an Amazon support service for users, could prove valuable to both HTC and Amazon and be very appealing to new users in a saturated smartphone market. Read more

Report: Google draws up antitrust settlement outline with EU to dodge legal battle

Google and the European Commission consented to the “outlines of a settlement” today, according to The Financial Times (via SearchEngineLand), which, if inked, would spare the search engine from official antitrust charges.

Europe’s premier competition watchdog has long accused the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company of abusing its dominance to suppress opponents in the market. Google previously said it would make company-wide changes to avoid a legal battle and expensive fines, and it seems the most recent outcome of those discussions is a new settlement draft of which the details are currently unknown. The rough deal reportedly also extends to a contentious matter that surfaced late in the talks—mobile search.

Joaquin Almunia, the European Union’s vice president of the European commission responsible for competition, sent a letter to Google Executive Chairperson Eric Schmidt in May. The letter detailed the antitrust investigation into Google’s search practices, and it offered the search engine a chance to remedy its “abuses” by settling.

“I have just sent a letter to Eric Schmidt setting out these four points. In this letter, I offer Google the possibility to come up in a matter of weeks with first proposals of remedies to address each of these points,” said Alumnia.

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