Europe opens antitrust investigation on Google

By on November 30, 2010, 9:49 AM
The European Commission has opened an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google has abused its search-engine dominance by down ranking competitors in the results it delivers. The original complaint was brought against Google earlier this year by three companies -- British price comparison site Foundem, French legal search site eJustice, and a German price comparison site owned by Microsoft known as Ciao -- and has since expanded to look into other issues such as how the company deals with advertising partners and the way it tracks ad campaign data.

In its defense, Google says that there are good reasons why certain sites are ranked poorly in search results. For example, Foundem, one of the sites that filed the original complaint is badly ranked because it "duplicates 79% of its website content from other sites," and Google has openly warned webmasters that their algorithms penalize duplicate sites. With regards to its core online advertising business the company said that they already allow customers to take their data with them when switching to a rival advertising platform and that its contracts have never been exclusive.

Nevertheless, Google says it will cooperate with the investigation. For its part the Commission stressed that opening the investigation does not imply that it already has proof of any infringements, merely that it is looking for it.




User Comments: 14

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yRaz yRaz said:

okay, i know everyone thinks google is the big bad wolf and what not, but this is retarded. I hate when I search for something and it takes me to another search engine.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Agreed with yRaz, I hate it when I get linked to Bing, I think google has got itself covered here as it stated in its defense.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Make that 3 of us... and I bet tons more, if you are searching for something why do they redirect to another search... its kind of odd.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well, here we ago again. Europe sued the crap out of Microsoft at every chance they could. Guess they've drained that well dry and now it's Google's turn.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have been wondering when the European Commission was going to come up with an excuse errr I mean reason, to investigate Google.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You would figure that the EU has bigger fish to fry than investigating protests by a few obscure price comparison sites that their regurgitation of information from other sites does not give them as high advertising revenue as they promised to their investors.

Aren't there a few national economies on the brink of collapse they need to take care of first?

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

Well, here we ago again. Europe sued the crap out of Microsoft at every chance they could. Guess they've drained that well dry and now it's Google's turn.

Agreed...The bigger the fish, the bigger the reward. If Google loses this, then it opens up a gate for other sites to say "Hang on a sec!"..It'll just be open season.

It's all a load of crap really.

Guest said:

Yes, god forbid the European Commission one of who's duties is to investigate complaints should investigate a complaint...

Please, don't be so trite. The EC didn't come up with this, it was raised by Google competitors and the EC have to look into it, same as if you go to the police saying your house has been burgled they have to look into it.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Will we have balloting with every search if google turns out to be loosers (which I doubt very much) in this investigation?

codefeenix codefeenix said:

Its Google's product, they can do with it as they wish. If the EU does not like the way Google sorts its results then they should use one of the many other search engines.

Cota Cota said:

Isnt the internet a place to get and share information? lol, however i do agree on some rankings, specially when your search takes you to another search engine or begging/trashy websites

Guest said:

Its Google's product,

Yes.

they can do with it as they wish.

Wrong.

If the EU does not like the way Google sorts its results

It's not the EU that's taken issue with Google, it's Google competitors (crap price comparison websites) that have raised a complaint with the European Commission under anti-monopoly legislation, who's responsibility it is to look into the complaint.

Therefore the argument here is embarrassingly nonsensical and obtuse:

then they should use one of the many other search engines.

Yoryka said:

the truth, google has weapons of mass destruction. google, using millions! of other people sites! to gain only for themselves! OUTRAGEOUS! -_- lol

Guest said:

Yes, because everyone who's ever searched for something on Google has never gotten any gain out of it. You'd wonder why people use massive search engines in the first place.

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