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EU to Investigate Google Doubleclick Acquisition

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the gee-maybe-thats-to-much dept.

Google 88

the linux geek writes "Google is undergoing an investigation by the European Union for its $3.1 billion acquisition of internet advertiser DoubleClick. "We seek to avoid further delays that might put us at a disadvantage in competing fully against Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and others whose acquisitions in the highly competitive online advertising market have already been approved," said Google boss Eric Schmidt. The United States' Federal Trade Commission has been reviewing the acquisition since May."

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Article text (3, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348843)

Not much to it:


EU will investigate Google deal

European Union regulators have launched an in-depth investigation into Google's $3.1bn (£1.5bn) takeover of online advertising firm DoubleClick.

The EU Commission said its initial probe had shown the deal would raise competition concerns.

It has set itself a deadline of 2 April 2008 to reach a decision.

Google said it would work with the Commission to show how the acquisition would benefit publishers, advertisers and consumers.

"We seek to avoid further delays that might put us at a disadvantage in competing fully against Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and others whose acquisitions in the highly competitive online advertising market have already been approved," said Google boss Eric Schmidt.

The European Commission is working closely on the case with the US Federal Trade Commission, which has been reviewing the deal since May.

Both Google and DoubleClick are involved in online advertising, although they have different roles.

DoubleClick helps link up advertising agencies, marketers and web site publishers hoping to put ads online and track them.

Google allows firms to target advertising at people using particular search terms and also stores information about users' internet surfing habits.

Birthday present for the Emperor of Europe (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349401)

It has set itself a deadline of 2 April 2008 to reach a decision.

Charlemagne will be 1,266 years old on April 2, 2008. That's a lot of candles! Fitting that the Emperor Google will (or won't) be allowed to acquire Doubleclick on the (old) Emperor of Europe's 1,266th birthday!

-mcgrew

Re:Article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349517)

-1, Whore

Didn't knew Google was an EU company (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348903)

Last time I checked Google was an American company, bound to America Laws...

And yes, I'm European.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (4, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348939)

Last time I checked Google was an American company, bound to America Laws...

Sorry, even American companies need to obey EU law while doing business in the EU.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (0)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349423)

There is a VERY interesting book on this subject called "The United States of Europe and the End of American Supremacy" available in your local bookstore or online. It demonstrates real examples of how the EU can really screw up a deal for American companies doing business in the EU if they want to.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21352467)

Excuse me...how can something be moderated down when it is talking about the subject of a book that deals with this very subject in a factual manner? Must have been moderated down by a pissed off, unemployed, free health care Socailist European.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (0, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350133)

More importantly, American companies need to pay the EU's extortion to to business in the EU.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

BgJonson79 (129962) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350325)

But, in the online world, what consists of "doing business?"

If neither Google nor Doubleclick have offices in the EU, and someone from the EU visits a website in the USA that has Google ads and Doubleclick adds, which set of laws apply?

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21352499)

If neither Google nor Doubleclick have offices in the EU, and someone from the EU visits a website in the USA that has Google ads and Doubleclick adds, which set of laws apply?

Both Google and DoubleClick do have offices in many EU member states, so your point is academic.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

BgJonson79 (129962) | more than 6 years ago | (#21358147)

Oh, I know that :-)

I was looking for the academic answer!

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

chefren (17219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362053)

It's still an interesting question though.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21359451)

Sorry, even American companies need to obey EU law while doing business in the EU.
So, what should companies do when they are doing business in China?

(Not necessarily aimed at you, but anyone reading this who has been applying a double-standard. It's time to stop and think for a bit)

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (0, Redundant)

gravesb (967413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348947)

Generally, companies agree to be bound to a country's laws in exchange for the ability to do business there. If Google wants to do business in Europe, it must submit to its laws. All states have similar provisions in the US for companies based in one state, but wanting to do business in another.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348951)

Last time I checked Google was an American company, bound to America Laws...

And yes, I'm European.
Sorry, your ignorance makes you sound American.

Companies that do business in a region or country are bound by the laws of that region or country.

Google is bound by US law -- but for the business it does in the EU, it is also bound by the EU. The EU can say, "If you want to do business here, you need to abide by our laws."

They can also say, "If you want to bring your monopoly here, you can pay X in fines for the privilege, or get rid of your monopoly."

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (2, Funny)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349133)

Sorry, your ignorance makes you sound American.
What do you mean by this? Americans are not ignorant we have a wide list of inventions. We invented:
  • The Steam Locomotive
  • The Tank
  • The Automobile
  • The Jet Engine
  • Magnetic Recording
  • Cathode Ray Tube Oscilloscope
  • The V-2 Missile
  • Movable Type Printing Press
  • Four-Stroke Internal-Combustion Engine
  • Braille Printing
  • The Eiffel Tower

So take that!! Americans are not ignorant!

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349291)

I'm sorry, which of those was an American invention again?

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349303)

You must have missed the joke

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

BrotherBeal (1100283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349563)

The moderators seem to have missed it too (1, undescribed).

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349753)

You could have even mentioned the Statue of Liberty. Done by the same guy who did the Eiffel Tower (Gustave Eiffel). Or even the world wide web.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21350039)

However, Americans invented and developed the Internet, without which we wouldn't even be talking about this issue.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356243)

Gore, no?

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

Wite_Noiz (887188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349573)

The underlying hubris, I believe

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349731)

All. It's a known fact that those inventions were released to the general public by Nameless Agency agents posing as foreigners.

The big brother is big indeed.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349793)

Mod this up. Either as insightfull or funny.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

cosminn (889926) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350459)

Americans are not ignorant we have a wide list of inventions. We invented:

        * The Steam Locomotive
        * The Tank
        * The Automobile
        * The Jet Engine
        * Magnetic Recording
        * Cathode Ray Tube Oscilloscope
        * The V-2 Missile
        * Movable Type Printing Press
        * Four-Stroke Internal-Combustion Engine
        * Braille Printing
        * The Eiffel Tower


Let's not forget the Internet [cnn.com]

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21352161)

Sorry, your ignorance makes you sound American.

"Trolls they were...
Indeed.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348957)

Last time I checked the US Government seemed to think that everyone was bound by American laws, even if they're not US Nationals or not on US territory. Guess it's just Europe returning the favour ;)

Either that what it really is is that Google trades in Europe (e.g. Google.co.uk, Google.de,...) and so has to follow European legislation there. Even if the purchase was made in the US under US legislation then it impacts all areas that Google trades in and hence the EU believe they have a right to investigate its implications and impact.

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

s!lat (975103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349101)

Honestly though, with a company that big and doing business globally I would imagine that the EU would want to investigate the merger even if they were not legally required to. Something with that amount of potential impact shouldn't be left up to just one country

Re:Didn't knew Google was an EU company (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21352029)

Especially not to a corrupt one.

Tags (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348937)

Could someone please get rid of the "dontXmebro" tags on every article?

Re:Tags (4, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349119)

Sorry about that, I'll get on that as soon as I can. I'm working on the First Post and Goatse problem right now.

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349323)

I agree with you.

And if I may add, why not end with this tag crap *at all* ? I mean, why do I have to put up with the *crap* that are 99% of tags?

For example, I love vista, (or not, none of your business), but WHY oh why the fuck do I have to read "vistasucks" on every MS history?

And what about "yes", "no", "fud", "liar", "bastard", "hypocrisy" ?

Is it "news for nerds" or "news with random opinions from an idiot?"

Thing is, once the article is tagged, that crap becomes part of the article. It's almost like having CNN write an article about Osama and append at the end of it the string "osamaSucks". Their job is to report, in the same way that slashdot's front page is supposed to give news. To tell what's happened.... If you want to give your lame opinion or tag use the comments.

Because, you see, comments I can filter quite effectively. So, why are the tags exempt of my meticulous filtering settings?

And to quote the general ideia (from: http://yro.slashdot.org/faq/tags.shtml [slashdot.org] )
"We're going to build the next generation of moderation on top of tags."

lol.

Please, kill this beast.

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349923)

Sounds like it is really getting to you. You can ignore it or write a book about it, as a matter of fact why don't you just make a movie about it? No one cares, get a life. If you are obsessive compulsive, I apologize then. I forgot to add that I obsessively compulsed your mom in the ass last night. And if she's dead I apologize because I still did it.

And if... (2, Interesting)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348989)

...the EU thinks the deal is anti-competitive, but the FTC does not, would this stop a deal between two companies who are HQ'd in America? I understand that Google and DoubleClick operate globally, but I fail to see where the FTC would care about the EU's opinion.

Someone with some business/legal acumen, please explain this to me. I am but a humble geek unaware of the politics of billion dollar companies.

Re:And if... (1, Funny)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349061)

Oh, it's pretty simple:

  1. Buy up an interesting-looking smaller company.
  2. Either pay off trade officials or charm them, depending on whether you are an evil megacorporation or a less evil megacorporation.
  3. Profit!

Re:And if... (4, Informative)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349111)

IANAL but I think if Google plans to do business in the EU by selling online advertisement space to European companies and the EU decides that they hold a monopoly on such advertising than they will have to pay fines, or get rid of the monopoly. As you said I don't think the EU can stop the deal, but they can convict Google.

Re:And if... (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349293)

Assuming the laws in the EU are similar to other jurisdictions (and assuming I understand them correctly) it is not illegal to have a monopoly. It is illegal to use that monopoly to block entry into the market or drive smaller competitors out of the market.

The US FTC can block the acquisition if they feel it is not in the best interest of the industry or the economy. The EU has no jurisdiction over the acquisition and can't simply convict them of being a monopoly until and unless there is an abuse of their position as a monopoly.

Again, assuming the laws in the EU are similar to other jurisdictions.

Re:And if... (1)

trifish (826353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350651)

It is not illegal to become a natural monopoly by chance. However, it is forbidden to buy out your competitors in order to become a monopoly "artificially". THAT can be a reason to forbid the merger or acquisition.

Global Players and Global Markets (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356169)

Again, assuming the laws in the EU are similar to other jurisdictions.

And that's where you're most wrong of all. Not only are the laws different in the EU but they are interpreted and used in a different manner. (read more below)

You said: ..it is not illegal to have a monopoly..

The whole case against Microsoft in the EU is the best example there is of the difference between passive US regulation and aggressive EU regulation. The EU steps in where the US would wait.

To quote the LA Times [latimes.com] : "In the U.S., antitrust law is based more on the effects. If you commit an illegal practice, that practice has to have an effect on the market" ... "In Europe, you don't need to go so far. To prove you've committed an illegal practice is enough to punish your company, irrespective of the impact."

U.S. antitrust regulators rely more on economic analyses than assumptions of how consumers will be affected, antitrust experts say. While the EU philosophy is that protecting competitors helps consumers by ensuring more competition, which could drive down prices.

And finally, of course, the greatest difference is that the EU uses the Civil Law legal system ( from Roman Law [wikipedia.org] ) with the exception of the UK. The UK/US Common Law system has a very different view and methods. On a sidenote the majority of the world's nations use the Civil Law legal system.

The EU has no jurisdiction over the acquisition

How terribly naive of you. Of course the EU can block it. That's why it merits a news item. Google and DoubleClick both operate in the EU, mergers and aquistions are subject to EU approval even if they have US HQ's. This goes for every major merger in the world today. If you don't get both the US and the EU to accept it - it's not happening. We're talking about WTO rules here to be precise.

DoubleStandards are amusing. (0, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349939)

What's funny about this is the absolute masturbation fest that happens here every time Google farts. But nary a "Here, here!" peep from the minions about the fact that prior to the acquisition by Google, DoubleClick was the most hated entity on the Interweb short of Microsoft? And what would have been the response from the Google Drones had Microsoft succeeded in acquiring DoubleClick? The DoubleStandards are amusing.

Re:DoubleStandards are amusing. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350311)

That's not a double standard. Nobody likes Microsoft or DoubleClick or their business practices. Google has shown themselves to be at least somewhat ethical as a company and beneficial to the advancement of technology. With Google buying DoubleClick, most of us have taken a "wait and see" approach to see if Google reforms some of DoubleClick's least ethical practices, or if it is business as usual. After the acquisition goes through (assuming it does) expect a stink about "do no evil" and some of their practices, with geek outcries here on Slashdot increasing as time goes on without reforms.

Re:DoubleStandards are amusing. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350895)

Google has shown themselves to be at least somewhat ethical as a company...
Keep on sayn' that... But actual actions (as opposed to PR smoke) show that Google is ethically about the same as most huge publically traded megacorps. Fro example Yahoo...

Re:DoubleStandards are amusing. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21351215)

Keep on sayn' that... But actual actions (as opposed to PR smoke) show that Google is ethically about the same as most huge publically traded megacorps.

Do you have any examples or are you just making shit up? What actions have they taken that you object to? I've heard complaints. The most recent was about their acquisition of a Website statistical analysis company, whose users complained Google had stopped improving the service and left them out in the cold. Of course right after the complaints made news, someone at Google announced they had heard the complaints and were going to push new features out to those users. That right there seems a lot less evil than most corporations I have to deal with.

Re:DoubleStandards are amusing. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21351805)

Do you have any examples or are you just making shit up?
Google has been taken to task concerning Serious Privacy Issues (as I'm sure you have heard). There are other concerns. Point Of Fact: Google can have whatever flowery sounding utopian Company Tag Line they wish ("Do no evil, blah, blah, blah..."), but the bottom line is that they are a for-profit publicly traded corporation whose PRIMARY BUSINESS is not Feel-Good Software For The People, but technology based advertising. They have shown through actions that they will do whatever it takes to dominate in the field of serving advertising in every possible technology format. They are not in the business of saving starving children in Africa, or whatever goodie-goodie cause turns you on. They in fact work with China just as Yahoo does.

Re:DoubleStandards are amusing. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21352875)

Google has been taken to task concerning Serious Privacy Issues (as I'm sure you have heard).

Nope. I know they sort through a lot of data in an automated fashion. I know they allow people to find public information some people might wish was not public. I don't have a problem with either of those and I don't see how they would be "evil." As far as I know they have a pretty good track record with regard to not handing over the data they collect to anyone without a proper warrant. Would you care to cite a few specific examples of what you consider evil that they've done?

the bottom line is that they are a for-profit publicly traded corporation whose PRIMARY BUSINESS is not Feel-Good Software For The People, but technology based advertising.

Don't consider running a for-profit business evil. It is not altruistic or "good" but not specifically evil either. I also don't find advertising particularly evil, especially when they provide less annoying advertising than I used to be subjected to. I rather like that they've helped shift part of the advertising market to text ads and ads targeted well enough that I might actually have some interest in them.

They are not in the business of saving starving children in Africa...

Yeah, and you haven't cured cancer yet. Does that make you evil or unethical?

They in fact work with China just as Yahoo does.

Actually, from what I recall, Yahoo gave the Chinese authorities information without a formal request (warrant) whereas Google provided only the data required of them under the law. As to whether or not doing business in China at all is ethical, well that is a matter of debate. Does it do more good for the people, or hurt them more? I could argue it either way and it is certainly not a black and white issue.

Re:DoubleStandards are amusing. (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21352717)

You seem to be ignoring the outcry of google being evil every time a google employee walks on the grass ("GRASS IS PEOPLE TOO!!!1!!111 ARE THEY EVILZ YET???1111). There was speculation about these very proceeding when google acquired doubleclick, and people did accuse them of being evil. However, the majority were taking a wait and see stance since google's ads are far less intrusive than all of the ads that came before and most of the ads since.

Re:And if... (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349113)

FTC doesn't care and of course the EU does not have any jurisdiction outside its borders. But if they wish to have an actual business-presence in the EU (a market that is on par with the US one) they need local offices and need to follow local laws (same goes for EU compnaies making business in the US). Of course they wouldn't lose all their revenue but I'm pretty shure the majority of the ad buyers would at least think about doing business with someone that is there locally. And the market opening left would of course be filled by companies that do offer just that.

Add to that the problem with a global company that "takes its ball and goes away" in a major market will not be considered trustworthy in the same way as before they did that. Which will create somewhat of a domino-effect trustwise since other markets will wonder:"Ok, will they do the same here if legal issues arise?"

Re:And if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349315)

> would this stop a deal between two companies who are HQ'd in America

It can, yes. The EU has the authority to stop the merger. Any company that either has a presence in the EU or provides services within the EU (and google does both those things) is subject to EU regulation.

General Electric + Honeywell (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349835)

General Electric and Honeywell were going to merge in 2001. The merger got blessing of FTC, but it didn't get the blessing of European Commission, and thus merger was called off as General Electric didn't want to fight and take the matter into European Courts.

The general question in these cases where two companies are merging, does the combined company via merger gain dominant position in said market. If the answer is yes, there are two possibilities, the merger will be called off or Commission sets remedies that make sure the merging company doesn't achieve dominant position in market via merger, i.e. the merged company must sell of some assets. It should also be noted that the EU Commission works both in European wide level and also in regional level, meaning that if by merger companies create a European wide or at least regional monopoly, the Commission will intervene.

I myself think that the EU Commission is doing the right thing here and in other cases. If there wouldn't be any safe guards the corporations would sooner or later collide against consumers and form artificial monopolies. It should be mentioned that if a company gets into a monopoly position by fair competition, the EU Commission wont intervene, only if a company tries to play dirty of leverage it's dominant position from one market to another, then the Commission gets into action.

PS. The EU Commissions right to intervene in merger or acquisition stems from having those companies operating and having major operations in the area of European Union. If Google nor DoubleClick wouldn't have business in EU, EU Commission couldn't do nothing, but as they do, and as the European Commission is in charge, the companies have to also answer to commission on regards on their activities.

it's where you provide the service... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349025)

Any internet company providing services within Europe is subject to European law. This applies to Google just as well as any other site that has a presence in Europe. Even if a site's servers are not physically located in Europe, if they are commonly accessed by Europeans, then they are providing a service in Europe and are subject to European laws.

Re:it's where you provide the service... (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349267)

"Any internet company providing services within Europe is subject to European law. This applies to Google just as well as any other site that has a presence in Europe. Even if a site's servers are not physically located in Europe, if they are commonly accessed by Europeans, then they are providing a service in Europe and are subject to European laws."

You're wrong on that last bit - as long as there is no "commercial interest", no server outside the EU is bound by EU law. This is why, for example, you can have a site in the US that sells Nazi memorabilia, and there's nothing the EU can do, until someone in Germany tries to buy - and then its the German purchaser who is in trouble.

Same with sites that promote hate speech (Aryan Nation) - shut down by the courts when it was operated in Canada, but when the site was moved to a server in the US, it was no longer under Canadian jurisdiction - and the courts so noted.

Foreign Jurisdiction and Prosecution (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356555)

no server outside the EU is bound by EU law

No, that's not exactly true. They are covered by EU/US law for their actions, even if it's in a foreign jurisdiction. Both commercial and non-commercial activity, including libel speech, is subject to domestic laws. The only problem is the actual prosecution of the people involved. Blocking the offending website is easy of course.

If it's a major company in the Western world you can be sure they will be held accountable. And possibly even extradited to the US/EU if need be. If it's a Russian hacker, you can be sure he'll be arrested if/when he visits the US for a conference. And if it's a Canadian Nazi he can be held accountable when he returns home for his Christmas holiday.

The issue is not jurisdiction, but prosecution. And there are several laws both in the US and EU that target criminal activities in foreign jurisdictions [that are only illegal from a domestic point of view]. The most recent case of this has been hate speech, terrorist activities and training abroad (for the US). And the EU has in addition to the above mentioned issues been concerned with sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Commit the crime abroad, legal as it may be there, but serve time at home.

Re:Foreign Jurisdiction and Prosecution (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21357499)

The Canadian Nazi won't be "held accountable" in Canada - unlike the US, our laws don't permit the prosecution of someone for a crime committed outside of the country, with the sole exceptions are pedophilia/child sexual assault - sections 150ff of the Canadian Criminal Code. Even murderers have to be extradited. And its unconstitutional to extradite for something that isn't an offense in Canada. So, while offering to sell Nazi memorabilia might be an offense in Germany, Canada won't extradite since it isn't an offense in Canada.

As for human trafficking, its definitely extraditable, so not an issue.

Extradition and Jurisdiction (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21358597)

our laws don't permit the prosecution of someone for a crime committed outside of the country

With the notable exception for war crimes [nytimes.com] of course. And a quick look brought up other interesting examples such as PART II.1 Section 83.18(3)(c)(ii) of your Criminal Code [justice.gc.ca] relating to committing an offense "... an act or omission outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be a terrorism offence;". Now, I'm not a Canadian lawyer but I would hazard a guess that there are more examples.

The Canadian Nazi won't be "held accountable" in Canada

And according to PART XIV on Jurisdiction, Section 481.2 says: "... where an act or omission is committed outside Canada and the act or omission, when committed in those circumstances, is an offence ... proceedings in respect thereof may, whether or not the accused is in Canada, be commenced, and an accused may be charged, tried and punished within any territorial division in Canada in the same manner as if the offence had been committed in that territorial division.".

And its unconstitutional to extradite for something that isn't an offense in Canada.

Actually that's not the whole truth after the Extradition Act of 1999 [justice.gc.ca] the crime no longer has to pass the same "duality test". I quote: "The new process instead requires a analysis of the alleged offense for which extradition is sought and if a similar offense prevails in Canada, ... the test will have been met".

Also extradition is probably subject to the long line of treaties with individual countries [rcmp-grc.gc.ca] that Canada has with most the Western world at least. I found this article [duhaime.org] on the subject very interesting.

In conclusion the answer has be that it certainly appears as though Canada can prosecute crimes committed abroad however as always certain conditions have to be met. I won't press my point further as I am not familiar with Canadian law and I might also be plain wrong :)

Re:Extradition and Jurisdiction (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21365143)

You bring up some good points.

The whole "war crimes" bit isn't being enforced all that vigorously any more - every few years, we find some old fart who has spent the last 50 years hiding ... its pitiful.

. where an act or omission is committed outside Canada and the act or omission, when committed in those circumstances, is an offence ...

The question is - is it an offense if the act or omission had been commited on Canadian soil. If its not an offense in Canada, its simply not an offense as far as our laws are concerned. This is why the US was so pissed of when former Prime Minister Chretien wanted to decriminalize pot, and rattled the trade sanctions sabre. Simply put, if its not an offense under the Canadian criminal code, we won't enforce other country's laws, when they contradict ours, or ours permit said activity. See music downloading as the best example - legal in Canada because we pay a fee on blank media and remit the funds to the music industry. Nobody is going to be charged with "piracy" for downloading - just uploading - which IS a separate copyright violation. Also, look at prohibition. Even before the Canadian constitution was enacted, since booze was legal in Canada, we had no problem with Bronfman and friends exporting (smuggling) to the US. So what if it was illegal in the US - not our laws, not our country, not our jurisdiction. Unlike the bankruptcy judge in the SCO vs Suse arbitration, we aren't foolish enough to bother trying to infringe on other country's sovereignty except in accordance with international law (which is why we're in Afghanistan, but not Iraq).

IIRC, the whole duality thing was changed with the extradition of Ng to the US. Prior to that, the question was "is it constitutional to extradite when the person could face the death penalty?" - and countries would have to agree in advance not to seek the death penalty, or we wouldn't extradite. The extradition of Ng to the US, w/o such guarantees, changed that. However, it could be changed again should another case arise and the defense make better arguments. Unlike the US, our Supremes are more flexible about revisiting laws when the case that sets the precedent is a "corner case".

Re:it's where you provide the service... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349301)

Wrong and wrong. They have a presence in Europe meaning an HQ, several offices. By your logic that means that AllofMp3.com has to abide by US law because it may be commonly accessed by US Citizens to get music illegally*.

* Whether or not you believe it's illegal is irrelevant to my point.

Welcome to our jails (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21356403)

AllofMp3.com has to abide by US law because it may be commonly accessed by US Citizens
Yes, that's exactly it. They are covered by US law for their actions in the US. Any commercial activity or libel speech is subject to US laws. The only problem for the US legal system is prosecuting the owners of said company. If it's a major company in the Western world you can be sure they will be held accountable and possibly even extradited to the US. If it's a Russian hacker, you can be sure he'll be arrested when he visits the US for a conference.

Yes, master! (1)

preem (1077475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349053)

Not an expert, but EU would easily prohibit google to operate within EU if they refuse to obey the EU laws, well after they would fine them anways.

How effective is online advertising anyway? (3, Interesting)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349057)

I know alot of money is spent on online advertising, but how effective is it really?

When I visit a page with advertising like /. I am not able to remember afterwards what the advertisements were... Does anyone really look at them?

Alot of the big players (Google, Microsoft, ...) are trying to dominate this corner of the advertisement market, which tells me that companies spend alot of money on online advertisement. But do they really profit from this?

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

preem (1077475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349109)

Does bear shit in the woods? Isn't google almost the richest company in the world? Advertising is their #1 business. Of course its profitable. So much i cant even imagine how much.

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349179)

Does bear shit in the woods? Isn't google almost the richest company in the world? Advertising is their #1 business. Of course its profitable. So much i cant even imagine how much.

Either that or Google is a multi-billion dollar money laundering scheme. You know, one or the other. =)

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

preem (1077475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349265)

Yea, doesn't Larry Page have some root in south america? That would explain the unimaginable cargo transfers between the continents... drug smuggling.... darn.. google is evil :s beware, be very aware :s

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349129)

I know I am with you on the "don't notice the ads". That's for the admittedly RARE occasion when I have to use IE to browse. The rest of the time FireFox with adblock plus makes short work of the ads. However, I have to admit that even when browsing with an ad infested browser, I notice the ads but do NOT notice who or what they are for as they are simply annoyances to be avoided until I can find the "printer friendly" version or find the pattern that allows my eyes to get through the page without getting any "reading comprehension" from the ads.

This must not be common though as the ads seem to be profitable (at least for the ad hosting companies). I have to say - I don't notice the ads on TV either on the rare occasion when I watch live TV (such as a live sporting event or something). I just tune them out and could not tell you who or what they were for. So I must be pretty atypical and not really a "target" of the ads anyway.

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349223)

I don't notice the ads on TV either on the rare occasion when I watch live TV (such as a live sporting event or something)
What!?!?! Geeks do not watch sports!! You must mean the Discovery channel, or something on KERA like NOVA.

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21354361)

Geeks watch sports for a sufficiently unconventional definition of sport.

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349139)

Let us broaden this question. How effective is any advertisement method? Ad methods are being paid for on some perception that folks will respond. That is simple psychology. Many people tune them out, but enough people apparently follow through with buying the product to make it worth it. For online ads, the prices are crazy cheap and there really is no burden on the ad-provider to provide the ad. Enough people click-through the ads to justify it. Just like enough people respond to spam ads to make it worth it. If no one ever responded, the method would have disappeared.

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21359625)

How effective is any advertisement method? Ad methods are being paid for on some perception that folks will respond.
In the case of modern online ads, that is incorrect. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's ads are all "pay per click", and ads are usually targeted based on search keywords. So, the advertiser can know (a) the user is looking for something that is related to what you are selling, and (b) you'll only pay if you get a lead going to your web site. For users on your website, it's easy to track the chance that they will actually buy something (just troll through your server logs).

The extra information you can get advertising this way is exactly what you don't have with traditional media, where you "pay per impression" or "pay per publication". That targeting and information is thus why these new web advertisers are rich; Traditional advertising is a huge market, and "pay per click" ads can work significantly better than the old methods, which means a lot of money will flow in that direction.

Disclaimer: I work at one of the aforementioned companies, but you can look around the web and verify all this information easily yourself.

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349161)

It's a matter of volume - like spam - if you have millions of people seeing the online adds then you don't need a very high hit rate to make them (very) profitable. After all, how many people do you know who have bought Viagra from a spam add, and yet they must work or they wouldn't exist.

You are thinking of the wrong kind of advertising (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349409)

What you are talking about is brandname awareness. Shout your brand loudly and hope it sticks so that when people go shopping they remember your brand and buy it.

Google is closer to advertising as it is done in stores. Google "knows" that you are in a hardware site, so they put up a display of something you might want to buy related to that. If you don't remember it or don't even look at it, though, you probably weren't intrested. Supermarkets don't really care if you look at their displays or not. They are there to convince people who were already looking, those people are intrested. When you are shopping for soda drinks a display for a new brand or a special offer will intrest you, that is all after all why you are there.

But as much as you might be intrested, you wouldn't want a show that stops you in your tracks for 30 seconds while shopping to tell you of this great new brand. Google COULD put up huge flashing ads, but it would also interfer with is main business.

You might notice that most personal ads in the newspaper, do not use color, full page, or nude women (well apart from certain sections) that is because a person reading the second hand computer section doesn't need to be attracted anymore, just sold. It is the reason that while shampoo is advertised with gorgeous naked women, it is sold by people fully dressed.

Re:You are thinking of the wrong kind of advertisi (1)

lil_billy (25771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349559)

For something to noodle on consider aquantive's proposals are true conversion attribution. Google's entire business model takes advantage of incorrect attribution for consumer brand choice.

Re:You are thinking of the wrong kind of advertisi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21359961)

Believe it or not, slashdot is not full of advertising professionals. I know what you are saying, and I think you are wrong, but there's no point in arguing since 99% of the people reading this will see your post as pure gobbledygook. You might want to rewrite that post without jargon, and explain why pay-per-click with analytics is "incorrect attribution for consumer brand choice". Perhaps you are just jealous that Overture got it (mostly) right.

Re:You are thinking of the wrong kind of advertisi (1)

lil_billy (25771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371565)

To be clear I wasn't trying to speak with jargon, but to speak efficiently. Maybe I should present an intended audience with each post.

Overture is integrated with Yahoo, which therefore has the ability to ignore this issue entirely anyway.

Re:You are thinking of the wrong kind of advertisi (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349907)

It is the reason that while shampoo is advertised with gorgeous naked women, it is sold by people fully dressed.
The solution is clearly to advertise shampoo with fully dressed people saying "The naked women that will compel you to buy our product are at the shop."

Re:How effective is online advertising anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21352925)

I think it's very effective. How effective is TV advertizing? I think it "just works". Heck my brother now is a ThinkGeek addict. Where did he see the ads? :)

There are "sales by internet only" that have all their business based on Google AdWords (and similar). I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing to run an online business in such a way, but it's a fact: there are such companies and some of them definitely make a lot of money, just thanks to online advertizing.

The more targetted the advertisement, the better it works. There are people who are now spending all their time analyzing "conversion rates" / "click to sale ratio", etc.

I think for many products it just works and that's why Google is so big and that's why all these companies want to deliver more targetted adds.

dontdoubleclickmebro (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21349365)

Ahahahh ohhh catchphrases being parroted and driven into the ground ohhh ahaha my sides!!!!

Re:dontdoubleclickmebro (1)

ZlatanZ++ (978060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350321)

Yes, I agree, it's going to go too far. The "dontwavemebro" tag was quite funny though.

Paraphrasing Strong Bad (2, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349503)

If you want it to be possessive, it's just "I-T-S." But, if it's supposed to be a contraction then it's "I-T-apostrophe-S..." scalawag.

Market Definitions? What about MS? (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349757)

Last I heard, the closest Google came to being a monopoly was holding 56% of the "internet search advertising" market. That is significantly less market than the general guidelines for investigation into anti-trust normally follow (70% or higher is the norm). The acquisition of Doubleclick is a vertical acquisition. That is to say, acquiring them does not gain Google any more share of that market. Rather it is a complementary market that actually hosts the ads on the cheap and is unrelated to searching. If you broaden the market to either online marketing or marketing in general to include Doubleclick, Google holds a much, much, much smaller share and calling them a monopoly makes no sense at all.

If Google had a monopoly, there might be concern that they were spreading that monopoly into this new market. As it is, however, one of their main competitors is Microsoft, does have a legally recognized monopoly and has quite obviously tied their monopoly to their internet search ad business via the bundled inclusion of IE and IE's default search settings. So far, the EU has not even bothered addressing that abuse, even though it effects this same market. Of course this is just one of the many monopoly abuses of MS they have not gotten around to yet.

Please, please, please for the love of Buddha, do not respond to this comment with a reply about Google search in Firefox until you're prepared to explain which one is a monopoly and understand what bundling is and why it is illegal only for monopolies. I'm so tired of explaining Econ 101 here.

Re:Market Definitions? What about MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21351411)

there's something very depressing about the way this merger is being treated by the EC and FTC compared to the treatment of the convicted monopolists (at&t, Microsoft) who are encouraging the scrutiny. I also found it creepy the way that the EU announced Microsoft was in full compliance the day before they announced the review of the google doubleclick merger. Coincidence I guess...

Google = the new Microsoft on /. (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349837)

"...said Google boss Eric Schmidt"

No malicious reporting there, after all, using the pejorative "boss" instead of the proper title of "CEO" isn't something anyone would notice. Everyone knows Google is evil, you don't need to market it.

Re:Google = the new Microsoft on /. (1)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350343)

"...said Google boss Eric Schmidt"


No malicious reporting there, after all, using the pejorative "boss" instead of the proper title of "CEO" isn't something anyone would notice. Everyone knows Google is evil, you don't need to market it.

Is the word "boss" considered pejorative now? To me it just seems slightly more informal.

Re:Google = the new Microsoft on /. (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350591)

Party boss, labor boss, machine boss, all negative.

Re:Google = the new Microsoft on /. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21351329)

I can't believe no one has an English word negativity index with a Web interface. The words I can think of that could have been used include: Boss, CEO, Chairman, Director, and Head. I'm not sure I'm convinced "boss" is more negatively associated than any of the others, nor am I convinced the usage was intentionally negative instead of accidentally or subconsciously. It could be, but I see no evidence of it.

tag: it'sitsnotit's [nt] (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21351441)

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

NT

Heh heh heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21353803)

You said "fugit!"

Heh heh heh

I AM THE GREAT CORNHOLIO!!!

Re:tag: it'sitsnotit's [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21360465)

it sits no tits?

plus ^4,w Troll) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21351913)

with THOUSANDS of You. Th3 tireless
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