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Europe Accuses Google of Monopoly Abuse

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the funny-there's-sort-of-a-government-monopoly dept.

Google 211

bonch writes "European antitrust regulators are set to issue a 400-page statement of objections accusing Google of 'abuse of dominance' next month, the result of an investigation launched last year after complaints from rivals that Google manipulated ad pricing and barred advertisers from running ads on rival sites. If found guilty, Google could be fined up to 10% of its annual turnover, which is about $3 billion. Microsoft avoided a similar fine when it settled its European antitrust case and included a 'browser ballot' in Windows."

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Google is not even hiding it anymore (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248730)

They're using their huge market share to unfairly promote their other products left and right. They have the most dominant position to do this too - the largest search engine on planet. They can put out anyone they want out of business. For years they have scraped smaller websites and then returning their own sites higher in search engine results. They push Google+ to every that comes to Google. How is Diaspore or other smaller social networks ever going to challenge that? They push Chrome to every IE user in a very spammy way, and they always do it in YouTube too. Recently all the flight ticket search engines started fearing as Google introduced their own one and embedded the results directly in search results.

Now with Google+, they're tieing all their products together too. YouTube just got a much more "social" and google+'ish look, and in one of their recent videos they show how search results, maps, calendar, news, music, video and every other Google service will integrate with Google+. Because of their market share that is blatant monopoly abuse and I'm good to see that EU is finally doing something about it. US is still investigating Google, but with Google having bought so many politicans in Washington and friends in NSA and FBI I'd be more surprised to see if they did something.

Oh my god the sky is falling (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248774)

Look. Google is just flavour of the month.

The very things you are worried about are Google's death knell, they are busy dividing and conquering their own workforce and focus, exactly the way previous giants, like Nokia did, so don't worry about it, it's a natural part of executive narcissism. Someone will come along (out of nowhere it'll seem) in a short while and make billions knocking Google off their pedestal into a has-been like Microsoft.
 

Re:Oh my god the sky is falling (5, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248800)

Microsoft is far from a has-been. They still dominate in desktop operating systems, and in all office software for business use. Not doing badly in servers too. Just because their efforts to expand into HPC and embedded have failed dismally doesn't make them a has-been.

Microsoft is a has-been (1, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248870)

The desktop is irrelevant now, the world has moved on and Microsoft can no longer dictate anything of consequence. They are losing money all over the place as they try to get out of their fading niche. Again, executive narcissism is going to prevent their success and ensure their continued slide into obscurity.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (5, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248888)

Microsoft just reported record fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 earnings today with yearly revenues at $69,94 billion, representing an increase of 12% from 2010.

If that is losing money all over the place, I wouldn't mind losing it like Microsoft does.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248918)

Then you need a core cash cow which you can sell to people again and again and again and again. At some point, people wise up and move on but until that happens you'll make money. What you have to be careful of is not losing too much on the rest of your failures while the cow is still producing.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (2)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248940)

You mean just like car companies are on verge of dying because someday people could just stop buying new cars and keep using their old ones?

If you also didn't notice, Microsoft has very stable other products too and they tend to take a long term goal with them. Most people tend to bitch how companies don't think long term but just want quick cash. Well, not Microsoft. And at 32% market share in the US, I would say Bing is a really successful product. They're also getting really valuable user and keyword data which will only make it easier for them to improve in the future, just like Google did. And now seeing Google throwing everything they have under the failure that is Google+, Microsoft must be laughing at Google's failed attempts.

Also, what comes to long term goals, that is what most businesses appreciate. If many parts of your business depend on someone else, you want the other company to have long term and you want to know that they will take care of you and the products you use. You can say that about Microsoft, but you can't say about it with Google, because Google tends to cancel failed products left and right and that is going to bite them in the ass.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248976)

You mean just like car companies are on verge of dying

Strawman. Cars are not software. Nevertheless, go buy some General Motors shares and bonds since you are so sure of their business model.

And at 32% market share in the US, I would say Bing is a really successful product

Bing is losing more than a billion a quarter. Highly successful, if it was a government project.

Google will also lose billions on their own vanity projects.
 

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (3, Funny)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249006)

And at 32% market share in the US, I would say Bing is a really successful product

Bing is losing more than a billion a quarter. Highly successful, if it was a government project.

Which just shows how committed Microsoft is to think long-term and keep that market share. And do you honestly want Microsoft to pull out? That leaves no other search provider in the US. Google will be only one you can go to.

Microsoft is copying Google, are copying Facebook (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249152)

As I said.

Microsoft is a has-been.
Google will be a has-been shortly.

And Facebook is the Tech Bubble 2.0 or Social Whatever Bubble 1.0 if you prefer.
 

Re:Microsoft is copying Google, are copying Facebo (4, Insightful)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249250)

As I said. Microsoft is a has-been.

And it was already demonstrated that they are not. You are predicting that they will be, but until it happens it's just a prediction.

Google will be a has-been shortly.

More worthless predictions.

Re:Microsoft is copying Google, are copying Facebo (1)

Stalks (802193) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249744)

Stop defending such a stupid statement.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249164)

frankly i don't care if MS exits the search market or not, bing is a horrible product with a horrible name, it's rise in popularity is only because it is the default search in new versions of IE

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (-1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249040)

Ah, got it. Standard MS astroturfer. Well, that's a mystery that was quickly solved.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249090)

That's record revenue not earnings. They've earned this much per share last year as well (so 12% increase in revenue with no corresponding increase in income per share? Meh). I notice their stock price is still lower than it was in 2001.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249320)

I notice their stock price is still lower than it was in 2001.

I'm no expert, but Microsoft shares split 2 for 1 on Jan. 27, 2003. Does your comparison take that into account?
This info was Scroogled from http://www.microsoft.com/investor/Stock/StockSplit/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249388)

I believe so. I was looking at a Google chart. That usually takes stock splits into account.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (1)

Garybaldy (1233166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249346)

Stock price has little or no meaning when you don't take splits into account. Just because Apple refuses to split its stock. Sending its price through the roof. Does not mean it is industry standard.

Re:Microsoft is a has-been (2)

JSombra (1849858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249002)

The desktop will still be relevant in the workplace for a at least a decade or two if not more

No, the desktop is irrelevant basically now (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249218)

The current generation of phones are just about powerful enough to replace the desktop. The next generation will do it. Think a couple of years for market penetration.

Your desktop will be at most a docking station to connect larger displays, better I/O and peripherals to your phone. Why do you think Microsoft paid Nokia to use their mobile OS? Because they know the desktop is irrelevant and they have to get into the phone market as their core income dwindles.

As I pointed out though due to their executive's egos it's certainly too little too late and they are going to be the third placed, or smaller player.

Re:No, the desktop is irrelevant basically now (1)

Garybaldy (1233166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249372)

people keep saying that. I can only assume that those that say that use computers for nothing more than browsing the web checking email And creating the occasional document. There is no point in explaining the reasons some users would want a more powerful machine. Because those reasons don't exist in their minds.

Re:No, the desktop is irrelevant basically now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249800)

"There is no point in explaining the reasons some users would want a more powerful machine. Because those reasons don't exist in their minds."

The point is that smartphones ARE becoming powerful enough to do what 99% of people want them to. Sure, you're right, that 1% of others will always exist, but they will be a tiny niche, and will need to pay a lot more for being in that niche, just as happens in other areas. But for the needs of the vast majority of users, smartphones of one or two generations from now will fill every computing need they have. In fact, we're getting close to that point now. I know people who have simply not bothered to buy another desktop PC when their last one died. The combination of a smartphone and an iPad meet all their needs.

Mandatory Notice (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248978)

Please note that free discussion has ended and this discussion is now being directed and moderated by a Waggener Edstrom Rapid Response team on behalf of Microsoft.

Monitoring conversations, including those that take place with social media, is part of our daily routine; our products can be used as early warning systems, helping clients with rapid response and crisis management.

http://waggeneredstrom.com/about/approach [waggeneredstrom.com] [waggeneredstrom.com]
http://waggeneredstrom.com/clients [waggeneredstrom.com]

I'd fire them then (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249246)

They forgot to change the thread title and are now simply strengthening search weightings between the words "Microsoft" and "has-been".
 

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (5, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248822)

Oh; stop talking out of your arse.

Once you have CHOSEN to go to the Google webspace then yes, you will see the whole Google portfolio; nothing wrong with that, you would not expect to see Macy's products advertised on Sears would you?

bing - four characters
google - six characters

People take extra effort to use google; they actively select it. If you install windows and select the default/first option everywhere you end up with bing/MS on everything. and yet: PEOPLE ACTIVELY CHOOSE GOOGLE..

They do need controlling on their advertising dominance but to claim they abuse their search position is nonsensical. (or, given the speed and pre-written nature of your response, shows that it is a claim mostly made by the paid-for muppets of their rivals.)

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248848)

Every monopoly abuse still needs that choosing. No one has anyone ever physically forced you to use their services. Yet, companies are fined for monopoly abuses and it's against the law. EVEN IF PEOPLE ACTIVELY CHOOSE THEM TOO, like you shouted. It's still wrong to abuse your monopoly status even if people choose to use your services, that's the whole point of it.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248986)

Generally speaking, prosecuted monopolies tend to make it unreasonable to make an alternative choice. For example, it is still quite difficult to buy a new desktop computer that has a non-Windows operating system installed, and it was even more difficult back when MS was under antitrust investigations. In addition to that, it was at the time very difficult to NOT have IE installed on said computer. IIRC, they even used their position in the desktop OS market to ensure that Netscape was not installed on computers. By contrast, all a user has to do to not use Google is to go to a different search engine. Hell, Google can even help you find them.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (3, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249020)

But what matters here is that Google is actively working to destroy competition, by forbidding their advertisers from using the same ads in competing advertising places. This leaves worse revenue stream for competing services, and no finances to compete against Google. Bing is only capable of it because Microsoft can back it from separate revenue sources, and yet Google is still actively trying to prevent advertisers from moving to their services. Other companies just don't have any change. That is pure abuse of monopoly.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249512)

PEOPLE ACTIVELY CHOOSE GOOGLE

Please. They choose Google because no matter what they choose, it's automatically Google. They type in the search bar, it goes to Google. They type in the address bar, it goes to Google without even telling them. They click the magnifying glass on their phone, it goes to google. They search on their game system, it goes to Google. I realize there are some phones and web browsers that don't use Google. But in general, people choose Google because it's the only thing they see.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249842)

"They choose Google because no matter what they choose, it's automatically Google. "

I think you meant to say Bing? Bing is the default search engine for the default web browser for the desktop OS that has 90% market share.

A friend just bought a new Dell. It only had IE installed, and the search engine was Bing. That's true for almost every desktop or laptop computer people buy.

People CHOOSE google because it does what they want.

I don't choose it myself. But I acknowledge their right to choose it if they want.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249888)

Please. They choose Bing because no matter what they choose, it's automatically Bing. They type in the search bar, it goes to Bing. They type in the address bar, it goes to Bing without even telling them. They click the magnifying glass on their phone, it goes to Bing. They search on their game system, it goes to Bing. I realize there are some phones and web browsers that don't use Bing. But in general, people choose Bing because it's the only thing they see.

FTFY

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249772)

PEOPLE ACTIVELY CHOOSE GOOGLE

You could say the same for the Microsoft monopoly. After all, you have to choose MS Windows before you'd get the default IE browser. And before you say Windows is installed by default on the computer and users didn't "choose" it, keep in mind that Apple had always been happy to sell you a Mac -- the user did choose the Wintel platform.

you would not expect to see Macy's products advertised on Sears would you?

If Sears became a monopoly, and used its position to block competitors of its own products, then I suspect there'd be a problem too.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248828)

Sorta like how Microsoft do this with Bing (and with IE back in the day) as well?

"Oh hey guys, so what if we bundle IE with Windows, it means a better product overseas, and as you know, we are gonna make it big in the future, that is a very good export!"
"Why yes, I do believe you are right Bill"
ANTITRUST DROPPED. FTC are useless.
As long as it benefits them, it doesn't matter.

EU is the only one with balls big enough to challenge these people.

I do hope they fix Google out a bit, they are getting too god damn cocky even for my liking.
Might even give me a chance to take advantage of this situation in the time it takes for the investigation to go ahead and potential changes made.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248926)

Yet the barriers to switch away from google for the end user are essentially zero, so there really is no monopoly power to abuse. If end users find google searches limited in scope to google's products and thus is not what they are looking for, they can switch away to yahoo, bing or whatever website they want. Google even makes it easier for you to change default search engines in its browser, than the browser of its competitor, microsoft, does. Don't forget that in the market of finding information, it's not only search engines that do this anymore. Facebook is driving a lot of traffic to sites just as google is. It is also offering its own ad system.

Simply promoting Google+, or Chrome is in no way abuse of monopoly power. Scraping is not what Google is doing. it is indexing sites, fully complying to robots.txt, and offering information to its users and therefore traffic to these sites in a manner it sees is more useful to its users. Let's face it, when you search for "New York", you more likely than not want to see a map and maybe stuff you can do there (links below that open up relevant searches). Calling this unfair advantage and calling for action on it, would in essence not let google users find what they really intended to find and thus render google less useful to them.

Ultimately you have to ask yourself is: What is the harm being done to consumers? If you ask me, the people complaining that Google abuses its position, don't really have a compelling answer to that, other than "please protect our interests".

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248950)

Monopoly abuse has nothing to do with end user or their barrier to switch away from company's products. It's about unfair and unlawful tactics used against smaller companies to gain and keep prominent market share and monopoly.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248968)

Quite the contrary my friend. Take the time to study the findings of fact in the case vs microsoft and you will see that defining the market, outlining the barriers are all key part of defining monopoly power.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm

The fact is that Google may have enormous marketshare, true, but it really isn't in the position to abuse its power to harm competition. Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, etc are all just a click away.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249000)

Barrier to entry, for other companies. Yes, that is very relevant. However, end users are not relevant.

Facebook, Yahoo and Bing are not the only companies abused by Google's monopoly. The most significant proportion is small companies, like flight search engines, that Google is killing off by illegally promoting their sites above those.

But the a huge abuse in this case is also that Google forbid advertisers on Google running the same ads on other networks. That is pure monopoly abuse.

The commission is investigating exclusivity obligations on advertisers, something Ciao alleged. Those obligations bar advertisers from using the same ads they run on Google on their own sites or competing search engines such as Bing and Yahoo.

Again, monopoly abuse has nothing to do with end user or their capability to switch to other services. It's solely about companies and their actions toward other, smaller companies.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249022)

I am sorry but you seem not to be familiar with anitrust law. All barriers are considered. Again I point you to the microsoft case. Hopefully this time with a proper link:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. MICROSOFT CORPORATION [justice.gov]

You will note that viable alternatives were considered practically nonexistent. All barriers are taken note of when examining monopoly power. And in this case, there simply isn't anything keeping users locked to Google. There are viable alternatives, just a click away that keep Google from being able to effectively abuse its power.

Antitrust isn't just slammed at any company, you have to carefully examine all the facts to conclude that there is in fact a market distortion that does harm to the comsumers in some way. In Google's case, it simply is not the case.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (2)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249574)

Hi,

Hmm, "illegal", I don't think that word means what you think it does...lol.

You claim Google is killing off small flight search companies by "illegally" promoting their sites. What exactly is "illegal" here? *sigh*.

What, they don't run ads for their competitors? Big whoope de do. *sigh*. In what sort of idiotic world do you live in where you *have* to do that?

Now, if Google was filtering search results to actively remove those companies, and claiming that it's search results were virgin and untampered with, that's an entirely different kettle of fish. But they're not. They just happen to usually have links at the top saying "hey, you searched for flight results, did you know we also have a flight search engine". That is not illegal, and never has been - it's called cross-promotion, and is as old as the hills.

And in fact, the funny thing about Google is that A. they actually *do* provide information about their competitors and B. They make it very easy to switch - e.g. Chrome makes it easy to change default browsers, unlike the nightmare that is the IE startup wizard, and Google even lets you export your data with them (www.dataliberation.org) - something nobody else does.

You still haven't backed up your "illegal" claim with anything that Google has actually done.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249892)

Ok, I have to call you out on this. Put up or Shut up

Reply to this with the exact law names, numbers, and references. One for EACH time you used the word illegal.
Bonus points if the law you quote actually has any relevance to your claims, and not just some land zoning law that doesn't apply.

Until you do that, you are not just wrong, you are a LIAR.
Yes, a malicious LIAR with intent to cause harm.

If you can backup just one of your statements with an actual law behind it, I will post a full apology and retraction to my statement.

Otherwise I encourage everyone to simply filter this UID out, which I will likely be doing in 24 hours after he fails to show what law was broken.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249264)

barrier to move your site away from google is a bit bigger though if you still want to do business. not in position to abuse it's marketshare? yeah right. I guess that depends how you define abuse.

companies are the customers of google ads, not consumers. consumers are what makes the google ads worthwhile.

also, justice.gov has fuck nothing to do with eu.. if it did, eu wouldn't have fined ms.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249924)

Yeah, but still Google has to compete for consumers for the ads to be worthwhile. So does its competitors. I am very aware that the EU is a different beast than the US, but the statement of objections from the EU has not been mad public so InsightIn140Bytes' comments are really off base. More like a rant against Google than talking facts.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249182)

"Yet the barriers to switch away from google for the end user are essentially zero"

Exactly! I switched away from google years ago. Anyone who hasn't, just doesn't CARE about the massive information gathering the google engages in. It took me all of 10 seconds to switch to another engine as the default in FF. It took another 2 to remove google from the list in the dropdown box. That's it.

If you don't like google, *don't use them*. What a concept. It's bewildering why it appears too advanced for most people to understand.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249028)

They're using their huge market share to unfairly promote their other products left and right.

You mean, like every business on earth, they use their existing mind share to promote their other products. Unless you actually want to fine Boeing for advertising their regional jets when they're selling their intercontinental jets, you're full of hot air.

They have the most dominant position to do this too - the largest search engine on planet.

Only if you define the planet by Europe and US. Russia isn't so enamored with Google, and China... well, we know about China. You can, of course, always weasel out by arguing that they are still the largest engine on the planet by total users, but now you're just mixing arguments. I'm pretty sure that's not an accident, too.

For years they have scraped smaller websites and then returning their own sites higher in search engine results.

They push Google+ to every that comes to Google.

Yes? Should they hide the fact that they have another product available?

How is Diaspore or other smaller social networks ever going to challenge that?

By being better? Or, to turn the argument around - the same way that Google ate Altavista's lunch.

They push Chrome to every IE user in a very spammy way, and they always do it in YouTube too.

Another outright fucking lie. Unless you think that telling people that they should upgrade from IE 6 is a terrible sin. In which case, you're just delusional.

Recently all the flight ticket search engines started fearing as Google introduced their own one and embedded the results directly in search results.

Yes. God forbid there's some competition in the flight search engine market.

Because of their market share that is blatant monopoly abuse and I'm good to see that EU is finally doing something about it.

Newsflash: having a large market share is not a monopoly. Furthermore, having a monopoly is not in and of itself illegal. What is illegal is to turn a non-government sanctioned monopoly into a rent-seeking enterprise by limiting external competition.

Now, how exactly is Google limiting competition? People are a click away from Bing. A click away from Facebook. None of the data that Google holds is sticky. There is exactly zero cost to switching to a competitor like Bing. Why aren't people doing it? Tell me, why? Because.... they're Google? That's a circular argument.

Tell you what, I'll make you a deal. You start posting the same crap in Facebook and Microsoft stories, and I'll pretend that you actually believe what you're posting.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (2)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249134)

Everyone is using their huge market share to promote their products left and right. It takes a long time for laws and legal authorities to catch up to developments in technology, and by that time these monopolies are so big that they can painlessly absorb any fines and have bottomless cash reserves for a legal fight.

Google is doing that, but it is important to note that Google is no different in this respect from any other major company. It offers the only way anyone will ever compete with Facebook, and the fact it, Google is one of barely a handful of firms that have any hope of ever challenging facebook. Smaller social networks are never going to challenge Facebook, with or without Google, the best they can do is find a niche like LinkedIn did.

Facebook's privacy issues are well documented. Facebook have also been happily abusing their monopoly in the social space. They are trying to take over the world of instant messaging and email - I already have people who send me facebook messages as a substitute for email - it's not just Google. If I install the facebook app in my phone it will automatically copy all the phone numbers to my facebook account. This is a classic example: http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/22/google-android-facebook-contacts/ [techcrunch.com]

Facebook want to control all your social contact over the internet, and they are using their monopoly to try and extend the control to IM, email and other things. Another example is how if I share a link to a news story on facebook, the link automatically gets converted to one that forces you to add the facebook app of that media outlet before being able to open a link. And the default option for the app is that every news story you read is posted to your profile - more lovely data for facebook to build a comprehensive profile about you. In effect, facebook is redirecting links I post, if that's not worrying I don't know what is.

Apple have a lovely history of monopoly abuse too, again I don't know if this puts them on troubled legal grounds but it definitely should. A classic example is their refusal to provide an iTunes app for Android, when they quite willingly make one for Windows. Since iTunes is the sole way of acquiring a vast majority of digital content, Apple are using that monopoly to distinguish their mobile devices and operating system.

Apple are also trying to use design patents, not utility patents to force other tablet makers to make tablets that are functionally or ergonomically inferior: http://www.slashgear.com/apple-made-to-specify-design-alternatives-for-samsung-02199756/ [slashgear.com]

"Apple suggests Samsung to design devices that do not have a front surface that is black, do not have a shape that is rectangular or do not have rounded corners, and that the front surface should have substantial adornment as opposed to a sleek clean surface" -- None of these are brilliant distinguishing design innovations, they are obvious design decisions any tablet maker would make. These aren't technology patents, Apple is in effect asking Samsung and others to make funcitonally compromised designs just to make them look different.

In an ideal world, compatibility would be enforced. If Apple are running a digital downloads store that has market dominance they would be obliged to make it available on different platforms. Google+ and Facebook would be obliged to let people add Facebook contacts on google and google contacts on facebook, so the social networks are forced to distinguish themselves based on features, not on which one is already too entrenched to compete with.

Microsoft's continuing monopoly abuse is incredible, after the anti trust rulings. I am still amazed that it is impossible to buy a laptop without windows being loaded on it and without paying a few dollars to Microsoft. Also, retail versions of Windows cost far more, so in effect if you think you will ever need Windows you're better off buying it at the outset. We still get Internet Explorer with Windows. We get bundled barely functional versions of Microsoft Office from most laptop manufacturers again limiting any chance a competing office suite will ever have.

So yes, the only way to compete is to have your own monopoly and use it to compete against other monopolies, or to actually have the clout and cash needed to even mount a feeble challenge to market dominance - Google Music anyone?

Not the issue (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249180)

You're confusing a couple of very different issues here. Google does NOT have a monopoly on search and the EU isn't claiming they do. By the very definition if useful alternatives exist then there's not a monopoly. Naturally they push their other services to existing users. Every company does this. Every company that has some common sense and is likely to be in business next financial year anyway. The key thing that differentiates this from normal practice and abuse of power is if the users have choice or not.

For all users there is a choice. I.e. is shipped out of the box with Bing as the default search engine. When you first start Chrome it asks you what your default search engine is. When you go to Google's home page you get a single bar at the top of the page, that's it. Users can all avoid this (and given the latest search numbers quite a few of them do) and thus it is not an abuse of market share.

What Google does have a monopoly in is advertising. They have the single biggest presence for advertising on the internet with facebook a very distant second, and unlike the general user visiting a search engine there's not the same amount of choice out there for advertisers given that Google's monopoly stretches way beyond the search arena and onto websites of partners around the world.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249212)

"They have the most dominant position to do this too - the largest search engine on planet. " ... which takes all of a few moments for anyone to switch to another. I know this, because I did several years ago and haven't looked back. I no longer allow google to collect information about me via their omnipresent scripts and trackers.

THere is no lock-in with google. With Microsoft, sure, because of the huge software ecosystem around Windows. With google? You can switch to another search engine in a few seconds. Nothing ties you to www.google.com except your own choice to use it.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249380)

I'm good to see that EU is finally doing something about it.

It's about time the EU went away and ceased to exist they are nothing more that a bunch of freeloading parasitic scum just somewhere for EX PM's and MP's to go and get stupid amounts of money for doing fuckall that is why almost all governments wont deal with the EU problem they are all banking on them for their income after they have been flushed from power so all in all fuck the EU and all it stands for

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249608)

They're using their huge market share to unfairly promote their other products left and right.

Hardly. Why wouldn't a company be able to promote its own products? Even if they did reserve some advertising space for themselves, they are not censoring their rivals from appearing.

They can put out anyone they want out of business.

Is Facebook out of business yet? Last time I read people were still using it.

They push Google+ to every that comes to Google.

One of the initial reasons people loved Google is how unintrusive it was. The front page was just their logo, the search results had ads in plain text tucked away to the right. If they start getting too pushy they will lose users.

How is Diaspore or other smaller social networks ever going to challenge that?

Are you saying G+ is responsible for the current failure of Diaspora?

Now with Google+, they're tieing all their products together too.[...] Because of their market share that is blatant monopoly abuse...

Why? *tries doing a search in Google* Sorry don't see what you're talking about.

Phillip.

WTF? Those are all legit business practises (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249700)

OMFG!!! Those bastards!! They are using legitimate business practises to compete fairly, and they are winning over European companies that offer an inferior service!!

From the article "Foundem vs Google: a case study in SEO fail"

I read the article on the tube, so wasn’t immediately able to check the website in question, but normally when firms blame Google for their problems it is related entirely to their web strategy (or lack of it), as opposed to some outlandish flaw with Google's algorithm. As such I reckoned there would be a problem with the Foundem website, and probably relating to unique content, technology, and a lack of quality links.

It turns out that there are problems in all of these areas...

http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/4456-foundem-vs-google-a-case-study-in-seo-fail

In any case, this clearly just another Microsoft scam. From the article:

The probe was prompted by complaints from several rivals including Foundem, eJustice, and Microsoft-owned Ciao, which claimed that Google had unfairly manipulated search results by lowering the rankings of competing services and elevating its own offerings in unpaid results.

Typical, MS using "Tonya Harding" tactics to break the knee-caps of MS competitors.

Anyway, why should Google have to promote Google competitors? NBC does not have to promote CBS.

Seems to me that Google has simply beat the competition, Google should be rewarded, not punished. But, I guess that would be capitalism, and not socialism.

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (2)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249732)

Looks like we've got a Google hater on our hands here folks so put your critical thinking caps on and let's review.

They're using their huge market share to unfairly promote their other products left and right.

Do you always talk gibberish or are you trying something new today? Google can promote all they want, there are no laws against promotion. If Google forced you to use Chrome to access their sites, then we would have a problem but there not so let's move on.

They have the most dominant position to do this too - the largest search engine on planet.

Good for them. They did it fair and square.

They can put out anyone they want out of business.

So can anyone else. As long as the competition laws are followed.

For years they have scraped smaller websites and then returning their own sites higher in search engine results.

Do you have any proof of this? If not, your just making shit up.

They push Google+ to every that comes to Google.

See first answer.

How is Diaspore or other smaller social networks ever going to challenge that?

The same way Google did it against the giants of the time. Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos, Microsoft MSN Search. They provided a better product.

They push Chrome to every IE user in a very spammy way, and they always do it in YouTube too.

See first answer. In addition, IE less than 10 is such crap that they're doing everyone a favour. And, it's not spam. I've never gotten anything in my inbox from Google promoting Chrome.

Recently all the flight ticket search engines started fearing as Google introduced their own one and embedded the results directly in search results.

Afraid that Google might offer a better service? Who's side are you on anyway? Consumer's or do you work for the flight ticket search engines'?

Now with Google+, they're tieing all their products together too. YouTube just got a much more "social" and google+'ish look, and in one of their recent videos they show how search results, maps, calendar, news, music, video and every other Google service will integrate with Google+.

I love it. It's a great feature. And you know, Google provides an open API to almost all of their products. You're free to use them and tie them to your own products. So they're actually helping you compete with them by letting you use their services via on open API! This is cooperation which is the opposite of anti-competition. http://code.google.com/more/ [google.com]

Because of their market share that is blatant monopoly abuse and I'm good to see that EU is finally doing something about it. US is still investigating Google, but with Google having bought so many politicans in Washington and friends in NSA and FBI I'd be more surprised to see if they did something.

You obviously don't know what monopoly abuse is and you obviously don't use Google enough to find the information so here's the link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:Google is not even hiding it anymore (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249806)

If you hate Google's products so much, why do you insist on continuing to type google.com into your browser and going there?
You forcing the problem on yourself is the only way for your statements to be true.

If you don't want to be there, STOP going there.

The only thing more funny than Nelson taking a kids fist and using it to punch said kid in face, saying "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!" -- Is people like you, who stand alone in a field punching yourself all on your own accord, and then complaining loudly about it.

Dammit :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248758)

You had to put Microsoft in the abstract didn't you. It is not that clear anymore who is bad and who isn't. :)

google has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248770)

Their new policy is "do no evil...to our sponsors"

Re:google has changed (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248782)

Google's policy has never been "do no evil" but "don't be evil.

It's a subtle difference, but Google's policy allows occasional "evil"

Re:google has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248852)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is that you?

A off-the-cuff example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249398)

I read your post, and thought who?

So I highlighted Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and since I'm using Firefox, right click and choose 'Search Google for "Dietrich Bonhoeffer"' from the context menu.

I don't think I need to RTFA to understand the concept..

End Game (0, Troll)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248794)

Time to pull out of Europe. They love fining US companies to fund their bankrupt governments.

Re:End Game (5, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248820)

Considering how Google launders its money via European countries to gain 2.4% tax rate [bloomberg.com] , that might be quite costly. And that also means giving up tons of business, revenue, users and future monopoly status on search.

Re:End Game (3, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249882)

That word does not mean what you think it does. Money laundering: the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources.

What Google, and Facebook, and Microsoft, etc. do is called tax avoidance, and (like it or not) it is completely legal.

Re:End Game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248832)

While the US love companies who squeeze out every last bit of money, freedom, dignity and personal data out of the people.

Re:End Game (1)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248856)

The US isn't exactly rolling in it or did you forget the biggest national the nation ever had

Re:End Game (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248860)

That was my gut response too, bearing in mind I of course only read the headline and not the TFA. Looks like a European money grab. That said, Google jumped the shark a long time ago.

EU Governments need about 3 trillion euros. (0)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248890)

Italy alone has to roll 300 billion next year.

Fining Google or any huge multinational corporation is so totally totally totally insignificant in comparison... I think you need to get out of your parent's basement and take a look at the real world to get some perspective.
 

Re:End Game (4, Insightful)

Elldallan (901501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248892)

Oh yes EU is soooo biased against US companies that the biggest fine they've handed out so far was to a European company and the majority of fines they are handing out still goes to european countries...

But yes pulling out of europe is certainly a valid option, the only options they do have is to either obey local law OR pull out of Europe.
Or are you trying to suggest that US companies should be above the law?

Re:End Game (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249448)

Or are you trying to suggest that US companies should be above the law?

Well, the problem is that ... yes ... we kinda do ...

Above European law ? Yes ... first, isolated from the 56 different conflicting sets laws that govern all sorts of parts of Europe ? Yes, definitely. Able to publish free speech into Europe on areas where European laws forbid it (e.g. criticizing unions, or politicians/institutions, ...) ? Again, yes, definitely
Above Chinese law ? Yes
Above $dictatorship's laws ? Yes
Above muslim countries' laws ? Yes ...
(the list goes on)

I would absolutely HATE to see US companies (any one of them) forced to comply to even a single one of these laws, except where it concerns people on the ground in those countries. But their websites and their business itself should be immune.

Re:End Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249618)

You can criticize politicians and unions in Europe without any problem. The only thing banned here is when you threaten the democracy or the lives of other citizens, such as Adolf Hitler did (racism, etc.)

I'd hate to live in a police state, which is US is today.

Re:End Game (2)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249816)

When you do not obey another country's laws, why should they allow you to do business there?

The fact is, US companies want to do business abroad, and this means they've implicitly agreed to following the laws of the countries they're doing business in.

Unless you're a major shareholder of any company, you can cry all you want about having to follow whatever unjust laws you perceive, but the reality is that shareholders want money instead of the ideological zealotry that you're so fond of.

Re:End Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249826)

It's not like the US doesn't have different laws in different states companies need to comply with. I am also not sure where you take it from that Europeans cannot criticize unions or politicians. Suggesting that European law is in any way or form similar to Chinese laws or laws of dictatorships is disingenuous. And Google does have a physical business presence in Europe, so arguing that it is exempt from European laws is like arguing that European companies with a physical business presence in the US should also be exempt from US laws, which I suspect you would also take issue with.

It is a simple fact of life that if you do business in a particular country, the laws of that country apply to your business operations, and that works both ways. The fact where you seem to think that US has better laws than other countries is very much debatable, but God forbid you would actually know what you talk about.

Re:End Game (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248906)

Oh yes, like fining Google for a few 100 million will solve our crisis. Get real. Unlike in the US, corruption is illegal in Europe, and so misusing monopolies is punished like it should be. And companies are obliged to operate by the prevailing laws. That Google is an American company has nothing to do with it. A few months ago a cartel of European manufacturers of elevators was fined almost one billion euros, but since elevators are not as 'visible' as Google you don't know about that.

Re:End Game (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248982)

Unlike in the US, corruption is illegal in Europe

Italy and Greece spring to mind as proof that you are full of it.

Re:End Game (2, Informative)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249016)

I take it you are American.

That corruption is illegal in Europe doesn't mean it doesn't occur. I never said it doesn't. You just don't like to hear the truth. Look at your politicians. They all are owned by the companies who paid loads of money to get them their positions. If that is not legalized corruption I don't know what is.

Re:End Game (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249056)

He didn't say that American politics wasn't corrupt. He didn't even say that American politics was less corrupt than European politics. The argument he made seems to be that European politics is all kinds of corrupt, which would put the not liking to hear the truth as YOUR flaw.

Re:End Game (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249108)

What Greece and Itily do is NOT European politics. But I don't blame you for not knowing how European politics works; even Europe's politicians seem to not know how it works. And we're in this big political crisis in which European politics is in the process of being reformed too. These are difficult times.

Re:End Game (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249462)

So let's focus on the point he *did* make ... is corruption illegal in the US ? Of course it is.

So the "tsa" post is full of bullshit. It is of course not legal in the US for politicians to be corrupt.

Re:End Game (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249528)

What Greece and Itily do is NOT European politics. But I don't blame you for not knowing how European politics works; even Europe's politicians seem to not know how it works. And we're in this big political crisis in which European politics is in the process of being reformed too. These are difficult times.

I guess Austria, Britain, France also do not constitute European politics either? It would seem that the EU is no more free of corruption and business influence than the US.

Corruption is a universal problem wherever there is money to be made. I would venture to say the US and the EU probably do more to plush it than many countries but neither are pure and virginal either.

Re:End Game (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249158)

Yes. Corruption is the most universal constant there is. The U.S. - corrupt. Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Australia, Europe, Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, India, China, Japan, ad nauseum - all corrupt. All the countries I haven't mentioned - pretty much all struggle with corruption. The Third Reich was corrupt. Fascist Italy. The Soviet Union. Napoleon's Empire. The Roman Empire. The Aztecs. The Egyptian Dynasties.

Re:End Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249402)

Unlike in the US, corruption is illegal in Europe..

Oh I see..that's why Berlusconi was in power all those years.

Re:End Game (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249490)

Oh yes, like fining Google for a few 100 million will solve our crisis. Get real. Unlike in the US, corruption is illegal in Europe, and so misusing monopolies is punished like it should be. And companies are obliged to operate by the prevailing laws. That Google is an American company has nothing to do with it. A few months ago a cartel of European manufacturers of elevators was fined almost one billion euros, but since elevators are not as 'visible' as Google you don't know about that.

PAre your referring to the 2007 action? If so, a few months ago the EU cut one of the major European company's fine by 33%.

Re:End Game (1)

jirikivaari (2468926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248910)

Sure. How many companies are you going to pull out? :)

Also, find a stock broker, he can probably help you short these countries. Talk is cheap.

This antitrust legislation is probably quite inefficient and pointless. That I do agree with. Its not European invention though, such regulators are everywhere.

It is the EU (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38248846)

$3 billion US / year wouldn't go amiss given the current state of affairs on the continent....

As an Italian patriot (2)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248862)

As an Italian patriot I welcome fining corporations. I'm sure I speak for many of us when I say "We see this as a minor yet convenient contribution to our nation al debt. Even single digit billions are not to be shunned. And some of it will eventually land in Italian pockets." There must be a way to make it stick and I'm sure we can make the form or shape we find look beautiful, trust me.

Personally I see a dodgy edge on Google but compared to M$ they are saints and I'd be absolutely terrified if Apple were in a similar position. Oh, and "Italian patriot" is a bit of an oxymoron.

Re:As an Italian patriot (2)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249010)

This is sort of off-topic since TFA is about Google's monopoly power (in Europe), and Google is after all legally enjoying its Dutch Sandwich, but I'm also in favor of the EU keeping more of Google's free lunch to pay EU debts.

Urban Dictionary describes a Dutch Sandwich as follows:

A legal tax dodge also called the Double Irish. Profits are sent to Ireland which has a high tax rate. But, Ireland doesn't tax some payments made to other EU states, so the money is sent to a shell in the Netherlands. The Dutch have very low tax laws, so it is home free. The money is then routed to an Irish-owned subsidiary in Bermuda which is why it is called Double Irish. The corporation has only paid 0.2% of taxes in this process. What a deal!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Irish_Arrangement [wikipedia.org]

Re:As an Italian patriot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249280)

That's strange... I told my girlfriend I was interested in the "Double Irish" and maybe also a "Dutch Sandwich", and she just slapped me.

Remember when youtube was losing money? (2)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38248992)

A while ago a friend of mine, working at myvideo.de, complained, that google kept ads prices too low to pressure competition. Considering youtube was losing money, no one would argue that they weren't too low.

I can't directly relate it to search monopoly, though, since technically Apple or Samsung could buy youtube and play the same "oh youtube isn't profitable" while competitors go bancrupt, but it does feel like abuse.

good news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249012)

Oh, that's good news, because we're running a bit low on cash here lately.

What, ran out of Microsoft money? (0, Flamebait)

Altanar (56809) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249124)

Hey, EU. You're doing something wrong if you face huge budget shortfalls if you don't get your annual big business fine every year. Fining prosperous companies should not be a major source of income for ANY government.

Re:What, ran out of Microsoft money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249176)

The prosperity , our lack thereof, of anyone being fined is irrelevant. Companies who break the law should be fined, prosperous or not.

Re:What, ran out of Microsoft money? (1, Troll)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249340)

Hey, EU. You're doing something wrong if you face huge budget shortfalls if you don't get your annual big business fine every year. Fining prosperous companies should not be a major source of income for ANY government.

That's actually funny; the US wouldn't be in such trouble if it didn't have this idea that you can't apply laws to business. The 2008 crash was completely unnecessary, but of course whatever happens now is EU's fault. Btw since you still haven't figured out it's not one big country here's the short and sweet of it: Euro-zone != EU and EU != Europe.

Monopoly Abuse (1)

Habberhead (178825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249220)

I thought McDonald's was the one abusing customers with that game...

Now Google ha a version too?!?

more gov't intervention (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249252)

More gov't intervention. Sure, Google is a large company, but it's not a monopolist in search.

Besides, it's up to the market to decide whether a company grows or not, whether it's profitable or not. Clearly the market likes Google and the company shouldn't be punished by government, because it's clear that gov't is always wrong in every case of business meddling.

Some people think this is not about corruption? Of-course this is all about corruption, it's all about special interests using gov't to promote their interests. At least Switzerland is doing the right thing with not bothering people about their downloading of whatever.

Switzerland is the sanest country in Europe.

google is getting too invasive (0, Offtopic)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249286)

i would like to see google taken down a notch, without warning and without asking me what i wanted to do about my email situatyion my ISP transferred my email account to google's gmail, i will be canceling my account with my ISP soon ( i am angry at both my ISP and google)

What harm has google caused you? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249384)

Please be specific.

Also, why even use Google? Certainly nobody forced you?

Makes no sense, to me (4, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249406)

Google is not the only company providing a search engine, and Google cannot vendor-lock anybody. What is the problem?

Also, how come Microsoft has been allowed to get away with brazen monopolistic abuse, 100 times worse than anything Google could possibly do, for decades?

For example, Microsoft was caught, red handed, bribing officials during the OOXML scam; but that's okay?

Re:Makes no sense, to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249586)

Google is not the only company providing a search engine, and Google cannot vendor-lock anybody.

Remember, you are the product. The people buying addspace are the customers.

Just another Microsoft scam (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249464)

Nothing to see here. Move along.

The probe was prompted by complaints from several rivals including Foundem, eJustice, and Microsoft-owned Ciao, which claimed that Google had unfairly manipulated search results by lowering the rankings of competing services and elevating its own offerings in unpaid results.

Just an excuse to raise more $$$ for these beggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249498)

These 'violations' are just excuses made by governments around the world to get more money. It's 'legal' extortion and is typical of Socialists everywhere, even here in the U.S. Heck, look at comrade Obama's administration and, oh wait, I see that you're eyes have closed and you have expired. A death tax on you, you pud.

The American Dominance or the European Divisions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38249564)

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and others: Internet-services-wise (and not only, think of Hollywood and TV productions) the "decadent" US "dominates" Europe.

The saddest part is that Europe may greedily react with as many fines as it wants, but it remains continuously unable to propose and then build functional and successful alternatives (without taking decades to do it).

However there is much geniality in the EU as in the rest of the world, even without mentioning the current crisis: venture capitalism doesn't exits, culture differences and mistrust still form a great barrier. And then social issues (a combination of different legal systems, taxation, red tape) and incapability to decide and actually do together in many countries frustrate positive attempts to go beyond the niches. That's a fact.

Foundem vs Google: a case study in SEO fail (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249622)

Good article here:

I read the article on the tube, so wasn’t immediately able to check the website in question, but normally when firms blame Google for their problems it is related entirely to their web strategy (or lack of it), as opposed to some outlandish flaw with Google's algorithm. As such I reckoned there would be a problem with the Foundem website, and probably relating to unique content, technology, and a lack of quality links.

It turns out that there are problems in all of these areas...

European publishers (3, Insightful)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#38249642)

This is largely based on the misgivings of European publishers and European IT companies who missed the boat entirely. For years, they have enjoyed near-monopolies themselves, often aided by subsidies and government-imposed fees and price fixing. Now Google has been eating their lunch with cheaper offerings on books, music, video, news, and they are recognizing that they are becoming irrelevant.

This is only one of many attacks they have attempted; they are throwing out shit left and right and see what sticks. A few years ago, they conned the French and German governments into wasting hundreds of millions of Euros on a "Google killer". They have tried pushing legislation that would give European news publishers copyright over the facts contained in news stories. They have tried to set up complicated rules that make digital publishing costly and cumbersome. They have ensured that they get their cut even for books and content they didn't create. They created an anti-Streetview hysteria. Etc.

If they succeed, the people who will suffer will be the Europeans themselves, who will continue to be subject to price fixing and control of their culture and media by a few European media outlets.

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