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Google lands in brown goo again!

Posted by feww on February 24, 2010

Internet Mafia Provokes the Ire of EU Firms

The European Commission is investigating complaints against Google, the Internet Mafia admitted.

Three companies have complained about Google’s mafia-like activities:  UK price comparison site Foundem, French legal search engine ejustice.fr, and Microsoft’s Ciao.


Recommended Google Logo of the Day.

Google’s senior competition lawyer Julia Holtz said the internet Goliath was “confident” it did not break European competition law, BBC reported.

Foundem says its site is downgraded in Google’s search results, a practice with which  Fire-Earth (this blog) is all too familiar.

“Foundem… argues that our algorithms demote their site in our results because they are a vertical search engine and so a direct competitor to Google,” Google said.

“Ejustice.fr’s complaint seems to echo these concerns.”

The complaint regarding price comparison site Ciao, which Microsoft bought in 2008, concerns Google’s standard terms and conditions.

Microsoft initially took its case to the German competition authority, but Google said it had now been transferred to Brussels.

“Although we haven’t been notified yet by the commission, we do believe it’s natural for competition officials to look at online advertising given how important it is to the development of the internet and the dominance of one player.

“In the meantime, we continue to co-operate with the German government’s investigation into complaints brought by Ciao.” BBC quoted A Microsoft spokesman as saying.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has issued a statement confirming that it had received three complaints against Google, which it was investigating, though not formally.

“As is usual when the Commission receives complaints, it informed Google earlier this month and asked the company to comment on the allegations. The Commission closely cooperates with the national competition authorities,” the statement said.


Another recommended Google logo.

‘Immediate threat’

Google’s attorney, J. Holtz,  has reportedly said that the Commission had contacted the company about the complaints.

“Though each case raises slightly different issues, the question they ultimately pose is whether Google is doing anything to choke off competition or hurt our users and partners,” she said.

“This is not the case.” She reportedly added.

Foundem complaint said that Google had the “ability to arbitrarily penalize rivals and systematically favour its own services.”

It said Google’s Universal Search was a “mechanism for automatically inserting its own services into prominent positions within its natural search results” and “poses an immediate threat to healthy competition and innovation.” BBC reported.

Foundem founder was quoted as saying that  Google had an “unprecedented” amount of control over its market.

Original report: Google faces European competition inquiry

Meanwhile, An Italian court has convicted three Google executives in a trial over a video showing a teenager with Down’s Syndrome being bullied.

“12,000 years of [alleged] human civilization and all we have to show for is Google, Facelift [Facebook] … and cluster bombs.” —JPB

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3 Responses to “Google lands in brown goo again!”

  1. […] Google lands in brown goo again! […]

  2. […] Google lands in brown goo again! […]

  3. […] Google lands in brown goo again! […]

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