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Google to be hit by €1B ($1.12B) fine within weeks as EU finds it guilty in antitrust case

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Posted · Original PosterOP

google-shopping-bags.png?w=2500&h=500

 

Google has been found guilty of antitrust behavior over the way it promoted its own shopping services over that of competitors, reports the Financial Times. This is one of three separate European investigations into the legality of the company’s trading practices.

The paper says that a formal announcement will be made ‘in the coming weeks,’ and that the search giant will be fined a billion Euros ($1.12B) by the European Commission …

 

The accusation was that when you search for a product on Google, the link to the product on Google Shopping is more prominent than those to other price-comparison websites. The EC has apparently now found the case proven, and will levy the fine. It is also likely to insist that Google rectify the problem by downgrading the visibility of Google Shopping links.

Google argued that online shopping was ‘robustly competitive’ and that Amazon was by far the most dominant player in the marketplace. As Business Insider notes, Google pointed to the fact that around a third of product searches are conducted on Amazon, against 14.3% on Google. The EC has seemingly rejected this defence.

The reputed fine is significantly less than the maximum possible. EU rules provide for a maximum antitrust fine of 10% of a company’s annual revenue, which would be around $7.6B.

The decision is likely to raise the same kind of split views seen when the EU concluded that Ireland had offered illegal state aid to Apple through a sweetheart tax deal, rendering the company liable to pay €13B ($14.5B) in back taxes.

It’s almost certain that Google will appeal the ruling to the European Court of Justice, a process which some say may take several years. Separate investigations continue into whether Google forces manufacturers of Android devices to favor the company’s own apps, and whether it abuses its dominance in ad sales by making it harder for advertisers to buy from rival ad networks.

 

Via: https://9to5google.com/2017/06/16/google-antitrust-outcome-eu-europe

 

That's a lot of money! They'll appeal the case obviously, but I reckon they're going to end up paying that 1 billion. 

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For the bottom bit, I would think that it would be ok if they suggested to use googles default apps over Samsung default apps


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138 is a good number.

 

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And yet the EU wonders why everyone is starting to hate them.


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I don't know enough to say whether they are breaking the law by positioning themselves on top of other shopping results. But, boy, I would love if they stopped filling the results pages with sales links! There are exceptions, especially with brand new stuff, but as soon as you look for something a little older, it's all places selling it, zero information... Sometimes the manufacturer's page still exists, but I have to go to 2nd or 3rd page to find it...

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3 minutes ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Because we all know everyone hates anti-trust rules...

It's not the anti trust laws, I think they're fine. But the EU does this to lots of companies. 


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Google argued that online shopping was ‘robustly competitive’ and that Amazon was by far the most dominant player in the marketplace. As Business Insider notes, Google pointed to the fact that around a third of product searches are conducted on Amazon, against 14.3% on Google. The EC has seemingly rejected this defence.

xD that was seriously the defence?  "Yes, we may be engaged in blatantly anti-competitive behaviour, but it's ok, it's a very tough market and we aren't winning so we have to!"


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So what you're saying is, I cannot promote my own products more than my competition on my own service? How is that different than someone paying Google to be higher up in search engine results. Or companies who understand code and algorithm optimize websites and pages to be found more?

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1 minute ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

So the laws are fine, it is actually enforcing them that is irritating... 9_9

 

2 minutes ago, Snaeb said:

So what you're saying is, I cannot promote my own products more than my competition on my own service? How is that different than someone paying Google to be higher up in search engine results. Or companies who understand code and algorithm optimize websites and pages to be found more?

 


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1 hour ago, wcreek said:

It's not the anti trust laws, I think they're fine. But the EU does this to lots of companies. 

They're basically being fair in applying those rules to everyone?

In the US or in China lots of businesses benefit from anti competitive rules that protect them in their own country, so they replicate it everywhere else, which the EU doesn't accept.

If it were up to me, the EU would be even more annoying by implementing stricter rules and more importantly, enforcing them even more often

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The status quo:

 

When an unverified claim is made that Microsoft is doing wrong with information, that creates anger and rage.

When Google is proven to have done wrong with information, nobody gives a single damn.

 

The irony in this kind of situation is one that I will not excuse anybody for justifying.


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Google Shopping results is shit anyways, so I have always ignored it....


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I don't understand why this is wrong.  Why do platforms have to help or even allow others on their platform?  Store A isn't required to carry products from company B.  Not carrying those products might be less profitable due to customer demand, but there isn't any requirement to do so. And why should there be?  Why should Google be under LEGAL obligation to direct business away from themselves?  Why should any business be obligated to help sell a competitor's service/product? 

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3 hours ago, Snaeb said:

So what you're saying is, I cannot promote my own products more than my competition on my own service? How is that different than someone paying Google to be higher up in search engine results. Or companies who understand code and algorithm optimize websites and pages to be found more?

Well I don't see what's wrong promoting your own products. But for me at least I don't see what the EU is complaining about. You search for a product it shows that product from a variety of retailers. Whether or not those retailers pay to get priority over others I'm not aware of but I figure it would be like a form of advertisement rather than anti-trust anti-competitive. 

 

That's why I wrote what I wrote. And to that one person who said the approval rating of the EU has gone up. Considering the rampant corruption in the EU, I wouldn't take the news articles or stats from the EU themselves at face value.


I think reasonable and sensible anti trust laws and enforcement makes sense but the EU approach seems excessive.


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39 minutes ago, ChineseChef said:

I don't understand why this is wrong.  Why do platforms have to help or even allow others on their platform?  Store A isn't required to carry products from company B.  Not carrying those products might be less profitable due to customer demand, but there isn't any requirement to do so. And why should there be?  Why should Google be under LEGAL obligation to direct business away from themselves?  Why should any business be obligated to help sell a competitor's service/product? 

And that was something I thought too. But I generally don't like the EU


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For those not seeing what the issue is, I think it's a minor detail.  They're not just using their own products and services to promote each other - that is common and fine imo - they're taking what is supposed to be a generic thing and giving their own stuff preferential treatment.


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1 hour ago, Colonel_Gerdauf said:

The status quo:

 

When an unverified claim is made that Microsoft is doing wrong with information, that creates anger and rage.

When Google is proven to have done wrong with information, nobody gives a single damn.

 

The irony in this kind of situation is one that I will not excuse anybody for justifying.

I acknowledge that Google collects perhaps more information but I feel like it's easier to see what exactly they're collecting and it's easier to opt out of. Simply don't use the product. But in regards to Windows. It's either that or Apple as far as commercial platforms goes. Yes there's linux but there's not nearly as much support for it as there is for macOS or Windows. And the ubiquity of Windows is what makes it scummy of Microsoft to do that and not be very transparent.


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6 minutes ago, wcreek said:

I acknowledge that Google collects perhaps more information but I feel like it's easier to see what exactly they're collecting and it's easier to opt out of. Simply don't use the product. But in regards to Windows. It's either that or Apple as far as commercial platforms goes. Yes there's linux but there's not nearly as much support for it as there is for macOS or Windows. And the ubiquity of Windows is what makes it scummy of Microsoft to do that and not be very transparent.

The problem isnt restricted to quantity only. The main problem that MS is never really disclosed what they collect(they released some lists but i doubt that those are complete), top it off they basically get anything that you store locally(on your PC or on a network share that you have access to) and that is really concerning. And considering how they go to great lengths to prevent people from disable data collection we can safely assume that they collect far more than what they claim.

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1 minute ago, jagdtigger said:

The problem isnt restricted to quantity only. The main problem that MS is never really disclosed what they collect(they released some lists but i doubt that those are complete), top it off they basically get anything that you store locally(on your PC or on a network share that you have access to) and that is really concerning. And considering how they go to great lengths to prevent people from disable data collection we can safely assume that they collect far more than what they claim.

Basically lol.

 

I'm fairly aware of what Google collects and I can easily see what they do collect and they want to collect more they ask you. Not completely aware of what Microsoft collects or whether those sliders actually do anything. I personally don't know I'd like to know. My care is well medium warm?


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16 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

For those not seeing what the issue is, I think it's a minor detail.  They're not just using their own products and services to promote each other - that is common and fine imo - they're taking what is supposed to be a generic thing and giving their own stuff preferential treatment.

The way I look at it, if i supply your avenue to different places, I will want my products to be a higher priority over others. Why would I give my competition an advantage on my platform that I pay to maintain?

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2 minutes ago, Snaeb said:

The way I look at it, if i supply your avenue to different places, I will want my products to be a higher priority over others. Why would I give my competition an advantage on my platform that I pay to maintain?

That's the point.  It's anticompetitive.


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