Feeds

EU examines Google antitrust complaints 'very carefully'

Top prober gets to grips

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The European Commission turned its Google-investigation heat up another notch Wednesday with a few well-chosen words from its top antitrust official.

"The work is at an early stage, but given the importance of search to a competitive online marketplace, I am looking at the allegations very carefully," EU commissioner Joaquin Almunia told his audience during a speech at University College London, referring to complaints lodged against the Mountain View ad broker and search provider.

As reported by the Financial Times, Almunia is closely examining complaints citing Google's alleged anticompetive practices filed earlier this year by UK shopping search service Foundem, French legal search group ejustice.fr, and German shopping site Ciao — the latter owned by Microsoft, which has lodged other complaints about Google's practices, as well.

At the heart of the grievances brought to Almunia's attention is the claim that Google is unfairly skewing its search-algorithm secret sauce to demote its competitors from the high-response top spots in its results listings.

Google, for its part, issued a statement Wednesday saying that it was "very confident" that it was operating within the law. It added: "We're working with the commissioner and his team to answer their questions, including how Google's search ranking works to produce the most relevant and useful search results for users."

But whether or not Google is "working with the commissioner", it appears that the commissioner is avidly working during this fact-finding period to determine whether a formal probe into Google's alleged anticompetitive practices should be launched — and soon. The FT cites "growing speculation in Brussels legal circles" that such a probe might be launched after the summer break.

If — when? — such a probe is launched, Google will have more to worry about than placating Europeans incensed about its data-slurping Street View camera cars. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.