September 1, 2015

The never-ending Google anti-trust story: the company could now face civil claims in Europe

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 […]

May 1, 2014

Consumer rights group brings new class-action anti-trust suit against Google over Android and search

Consumer rights group Hagens Berman has filed a new class-action lawsuit against Google alleging that the company’s rise to dominance in the search market was only driven by its inclusion as the default search option in Android, and that Google’s insistence that corporate Android licensees include the company’s first party software has artificially driven up the […]

October 1, 2013

European anti-trust case against Google likely to end after fresh proposals

The European Union’s long-running anti-trust case against Google, in which the search company was accused of using its dominant position in search to stifle competition, looks set to finally be resolved – though we may have to wait until Spring to learn the details. Reuters reports that Google has made new proposals, which the EU suggests […]

September 9, 2013

Google offering new concessions in EU antitrust case – but neither side saying what they are

The on-going saga of the EU’s anti-trust case against Google, accusing it of using its dominant position in search to block competition, continues with Google making fresh proposals to the Competition Commission.

Google’s initial response was to offer to:

  • clearly separate sponsored links from organic search results, and to link to rival search services
  • allow publishers to choose what content is included in Google’s various search results
  • allow website owners to sell advertising from competitor companies alongside Google ads
  • allow advertisers to manage search advertising campaigns across competing platforms …

After seeking feedback on the proposals from other interested parties (read: Microsoft and others who feel they are unfairly treated), the EU rejected them as not going far enough.

Reuters reports that Google has now offered further concessions, but neither Google nor the EU has yet revealed what these are.

October 24, 2011

Google in talks with private-equity firms over potential Yahoo purchase

According to a report from WSJ, Google is currently in talks with private-equity firms regarding potentially providing assistance in the purchase of Yahoo Inc. The report mentions the possibility Google is simply trying to bid up the purchase price to make it a less attractive deal for other potential buyers including Microsoft. Yahoo is currently in […]

March 26, 2015

FTC denies that decision to clear Google of antitrust charges was “a close call”

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a statement denying the WSJ‘s suggestion that the decision to clear Google of anti-competitive behavior was “a close call.” The WSJ yesterday obtained part of one of the investigative reports, which included a sentence reading “Although it is a close call, we do not recommend that the Commission issue a complaint against Google […]

March 31, 2015

Chair of Senate antitrust panel looking into conversations between Google and FTC

Senator Mike Lee, who chairs the Senate’s antitrust panel, will conduct a “preliminary inquiry” into whether conversations Google had with FTC investigators influenced the commission’s decision to clear the company of anti-competitive behavior, reports the WSJ.

The senator could later expand his inquiry to include conversations people in the White House had with the FTC and Google, people in his office said.

The FTC last week denied that its decision had been “a close call” following leaked documents suggesting that it had been. The documents also provided some fascinating insights into Google’s business model.

Google declined to comment on this latest development, but has previously said that its meetings in the White House were not related to the FTC investigation.

April 18, 2016

European Commission could finalize Android anti-trust charges against Google this week

The Financial Times reports that tight deadlines given to four lawyers suggest that the European Commission’s Android anti-trust case against Google could see formal charges finalized this week, possibly as early as Wednesday.

June 7, 2018

Google facing fine of up to $11B as European antitrust ruling expected in July

Google could face a massive fine of up to $11B when a ruling is reached on a long-running European antitrust investigation into Android – with potentially even worse news for the company. A decision is reportedly expected to be made sometime in July …

March 8, 2019

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposes breaking up Google, including Search, ads, & Waze

The criticism of Big Tech has been a long-time coming, and today it emerged as a likely talking and policy point during the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren and current Senator has just proposed to break up Google, alongside Amazon and Facebook.

September 20, 2013

Microsoft is David battling Google’s Goliath Monopoly, says outgoing CEO Ballmer

In what must surely win some kind of award for irony, Steve ‘dead man walking’ Ballmer repeated his call for Google to face greater scrutiny from competition authorities, describing the search giant as a “monopoly.”

Speaking at an analysts briefing yesterday (via The Verge), the outgoing Microsoft CEO responded to questions about Google’s plans to generate money from online services saying:

Google does it. They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with. We’re the only guys in the world trying.”

Microsoft of course faced numerous anti-trust suits back in the heady days of its dominance of the PC industry, and always dismissed them with the view that consumers make their own choices.

Microsoft’s search service Bing has 17.9 percent of the US search market, a distant second to Google at 67 percent. The disparity is often greater internationally though Google does have competition from Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China.

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