Articles about Anti-Competitive

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren

Potential vice-president and Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren has accused tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google of undermining competition and using their political clout to kill off efforts to place limits on them. Giving the keynote [PDF] at a one-day conference titled "America's Monopoly Problem," the senator warned: " …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016
hands waving dollar bills in the air

No contract protected against the risk of bid-rigging, says expert

Procurement professionals in all sectors need to be aware of the risk of bid-rigging of contracts they tender, a procurement law expert has said. Louise McKee of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said a new awareness-raising campaign on bid-rigging practices launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …

Cable box unlock block

US Congress has delayed plans by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open up the cable set-top box, a decision that critics say will cost US consumers $1.6bn a month. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a rider in a key budget bill that would require the FCC to carry out additional studies into the plan …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2016

Google still faces legal spat with SEO biz that claimed it was wiped from web

Analysis An attempt by Google to get a competition case against it thrown out on free speech grounds was itself thrown out this week. The case [PDF], e-ventures LLC vs Google, working its way through a Florida District Court, has received little attention so far. It's noteworthy mainly because it's the first time an SEO (search engine …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 May 2016
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

The European Commission may impose its largest ever fine on a company for misbehaving - and for Alphabet's Google, it could just be the start. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Commission is considering a fine “in the region of €3bn” for Google’s anti-competitive search practices - or around half of Google’s European …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2016
European flag with sad face

EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

EU competition commish Margaret Vestager reckons the decision to smack down the proposed £10.5bn merger between O2 and Three this week was one it did "not take lightly". The decision to block the deal this week came as little surprise to most. Along with Ofcom, the EU has been vocal about its concerns over the deal - mainly …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
android_money_648

Not OK, Google! FTC urged to thrust antitrust probe into Android

Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is calling on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to follow the European Union's lead and bring antitrust charges against Google Android. The group said that following the European Commission's statement of objections this week against the Chocolate Factory, it would like to see the FTC put …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2016

Prof squints at Google's mobile monopoly defence, shakes head

Analysis Google says that its tight control over Android is necessary to keep Android great, and safe for consumers, adding that it's not all that heavy-handed. Honest. Google feels hard done by because it has created a market of alternatives to Apple’s costly and proprietary iPhone, and that ecosystem benefits consumers. There’s no …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016
vestager_648

Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

The EU's competition authority thinks it has a smoking gun against Google. Consumers suffered because Google’s contracts with phone OEMs prevented the market from creating a better Android, the EU Commission alleged today. It has sent a formal Statement of Objections to Google that forces Google to come up with remedies or …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016

European Union set to release anti-competition hounds on Google

The European Union looks to be formulating plans to charge Google with anti-competitive conduct over the Android operating system. The move coincides with a flank attack on Google, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp filing a complaint about the legality of the Alphabet subsidiary's search and news services. The grounds for the …

House passes broadband bill despite promise of White House veto

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that it claims will prevent federal regulators from setting broadband prices, but critics say it's little more than an effort to undermine net neutrality regulations. During a sometimes heated discussion in Congress on Friday, representatives voted 241-173 to pass HR 2666 – the No …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Apr 2016

Just how close are Obama and Google? You won’t believe the answer

An ethics watchdog thinks that the FTC may have misled Congress about how it protected Google, and highlights how the White House went into panic mode to limit the damage to the giant ad slinger over a newspaper report last year. Last March, Google learned that the Wall Street Journal was about to publish details of how the …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2016
Netflix

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Consumers are partly prevented from accessing online services and content across the EU by "contractual barriers" put in place by businesses, the European Commission has said. Where contractual provisions are behind so-called "geo-blocking" then those agreements might breach EU competition rules, the Commission said in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Mar 2016

Steve Jobs, MS Office, Israel, and a basic feature Microsoft took 13 years to install

tropeR laicepS You know the cliches: software is always late, and some features take longer to implement than others. The software feature you’re about to read about has only taken 13 years to implement, and turned out to be one of the most politically explosive we’ve ever covered. Cast your mind back to the beginning of 2002. Apple was in …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2016

Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun

UK Culture Minister John Whittingdale compared ad-blocking software to “a modern day protection racket” in his Oxford Media Convention keynote yesterday. But a study of the full text shows he would prefer to bang some sense into the ad industry, rather than shake down individuals using content filters in their web browsers. …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Mar 2016

One major hurdle cleared for Dell's $67bn slurp of EMC

Dell and EMC have received US Federal Trade Commission clearance for their $67bn merger with the expiry of the 1976 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act-mandated waiting period. Under the terms of the HSR act, the corporate parties to a merger must file details with the FTC and US Department of Justice, and wait for 30 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Google? Great firm, lovely people, says Microsoft-backed ICOMP

A Google-bashing industry group backed by Microsoft says its Google-bashing days are over. In a blog post from last week, ICOMP confirmed that it was changing its focus: While we continue to monitor the Commission’s Google investigation, we are aligning our focus to evolving interests of our membership. ICOMP now focuses on …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2016

International Trade Commission pens patent love letter to Cisco

The International Trade Commission has handed Cisco another gun to fire at antagonist Arista, finding that the latter violated three Cisco software patents. The patents in question cover router management (US 7,162,537), and private VLANs (US 6,741,592 and 7,200,145). Since Cisco reckons Arista's in violation of twelve …
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

No, George Brandis, telcos still don't want you taking the console in their networks

Australia's telcos are still, by and large, unhappy with the idea that Attorney-General Senator George Brandis wants to play uber-sysadmin. In submissions to the government's inquiry into telecommunications security legislation, carriers are saying that the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 creates …
Hateful Eight

The Infamous Eight: 2015's memes, themes and big pieces

Year in review So, was US Central Command (CENTCOM) hacked, were a LOT of Polish Airlines aircraft cyber breached, and did China block imports of products from Apple and others? The answer in all three cases was a simple “no”. So what of the multiple cloud outages, and Uber’s ongoing global legislative and driver woes? In a 140-character- …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Dec 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

New data porting rules mustn't overburden businesses with costs, says UK minister

Rules designed to enable consumers to move their data from one platform to another should not be so costly to comply with that they serve as a "barrier to entry" into markets, the UK's parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department for Business, Innovation has said. Baroness Neville-Rolfe said that the planned new …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2015
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Vodafone slings sueball at Dutch telco alleging anti-competitive conduct

Vodafone has initiated legal proceedings against Netherlands-based telco KPN, with the claim that the latter's business practices have affected competition and consumer choice in the country. The Dutch incumbent has been accused by the mobile giant of failing to deliver the technology needed for Voda to debut its rival TV, …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Dec 2015

Brussels paws Android map apps to see if they displace Euro rivals – report

The European Commission has reportedly widened the scope of its investigation into Google's alleged anti-competitive Android operating system tactics in the 28-member-state bloc. According to Bloomberg, officials at the antitrust wing of the European Commission have fired off missives to companies seeking their views on …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

Web giants, Sir Tim slam Europe's net neutrality rules on eve of vote

Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr, Kickstarter and other tech companies, as well as the creator of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, are urging European politicians not to vote in favor of net neutrality regulations on Tuesday. Both have sent letters highlighting a number of "loopholes" that have been introduced as the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Oct 2015
Plain Capita logo

Hated Capita Contingent Labour One contract will be overhauled

The government's £2.5bn Capita-run Contingent Labour One framework – hated by suppliers and buyers alike – is to be overhauled by a "more equitable" Temporary Workers contract next year. Under CLOne, Capita is responsible for the provision of "interim managers and specialist contractors" across a range of services including IT …
Kat Hall, 20 Oct 2015
Broken piggy bank with coins surrounding it. Image via Shutterstock

EMC: We know this much is True, our rebate deal is 'illegal' in the EU

Canalys Channels Forum The cash cannon EMC fired at channel partners in the US who vowed to transact the lion's share – if not all – of their storage business with the vendor will not cross the pond, in its current form at least. The True rebate programme was pushed out at this summer’s EMC World in Las Vegas, and was intended to be a staggered …
Paul Kunert, 13 Oct 2015
Indian mobile use

Microsoft, Google scramble to COLONISE INDIA

Microsoft is the latest company to rush into the lucrative emerging Indian market, with the promise to connect 500,000 villages in the subcontinent to the internet. The announcement is hot on the heels of Google's plan to set up free public Wi-Fi coverage across 100 of the nation's busiest train stations. Microsoft CEO Satya …
Kat Hall, 28 Sep 2015
Bitcoin is the future of money CC 2.0 by Jonathan Waller https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitez/

Oz Bitcoin traders cry 'conspiracy' over bank bans

Bitcoin traders in Australia reckon the country's banks are blanket-banning them in an effort to stave off possible competition from the crypto-currency. A couple of individuals who operated Bitcoin trading operations have told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia …
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google Images: EU Commish opens new front against Chocolate Factory

In its latest round of questions sent to rivals regarding the activities and workings of Google, the European Commission has turned the spotlight on the search giant’s image grabbing facilities. Its most recent questionnaires (RFIs, or requests for information) contain five pages of detailed questions on the issue, revealed …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Aug 2015

Should all Europeans be able to watch Estonian football? Consultation launched

Europe’s Digital Commissioner wants to know what you think about copyright rules for satellite broadcasters and cable companies. On Monday, digi veep Andrus Ansip launched a public consultation on his favourite topic – geoblocking. The consultation asks whether 22-year-old EU rules that define where and how satellite …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Aug 2015
vestager_648

EU Commish demands proof of Google's evil from rivals, customers

It’s the anti-trust case that keeps on giving. The European Commission has sent out yet more questionnaires to Google's rivals to ask about the Chocolate Factory’s alleged anti-competitive behaviour. As always, the Commish refused to confirm on the record any details of the ongoing case, but a source close to the investigation …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Aug 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Brussels taxi union to disrupt the disruptors over Uber service

Brussels taxi drivers have threatened to bring the city to a standstill if the authorities don’t start arresting Uber drivers. In a vote on Thursday night the GTL taxi union gave the government until September 1 to haul the ride-share app drivers into jail or face Paris-style turmoil. In June, taxi drivers in the French …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Aug 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

B is for Brussels: Google's corporate rejig WON'T insulate firm against antitrust probes

Brussels confirmed late on Tuesday that Google's radical corporate shape-shifting that spawned parent company Alphabet would not "insulate" the Chocolate Factory from the EU's competition probes. The European Commission's competition spokesman Ricardo Cardoso told The Register: We have seen press reports that Google is …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Aug 2015
Zuckerberg

Facebook pumps up ENTIRELY SELFLESS, altruistic Internet.org

Facebook is getting more push behind its totally altruistic Internet.org scheme, which will - incidentally - let it slurp up free content and personal information from billions of poor people worldwide while spattering them with ads. The Internet.org programme has said it is inviting more mobile operators to take part in the …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2015
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs restored on Blu-ray

Antitrust this! EU Commish goes after HOLLYWOOD’s big guns

After an 18-month investigation, the European Commission on Thursday decided to file antitrust charges against US movie studios 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Paramount, NBCUniversal, and Sky TV. Competition head honcho, Margrethe Vestager, has sent a so-called Statement of Objections to Sky and Co, usually …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jul 2015
TSA gloves

EU probes Qualcomm over possible antitrust issues

The European Commission has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behaviour by chipzilla Qualcomm, including allegations of "predatory pricing". The investigation concerns Qualcomm's baseband chipsets used to process communications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices. Qualcomm is the …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015

Hey, Spotify! Why do you internet companies hate competition?

Guest opinion Last year Spotify hired a former political strategist in the Obama administration and some of Pandora’s lobbyists to protect its untenable and money-losing business model. I predict that the end goal of these efforts will leave artists and songwriters worse off. The ex-Obama hand is called Jonathan Prince. Spotify’s lobbying …
David Lowery, 15 Jul 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
It's upgrade time again folks...

Lonely Pirate cheers on Big Copyright-bashing EU commissars

The EU's sole Pirate Party MEP has welcomed rumours that the European Commission is to get tough with big Hollywood firms’ geo-blocking activities. According to a Bloomberg report the EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, is set to send a so-called “statement of objections” to US movie studios 20th Century Fox, Warner …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Jun 2015
Android for cars

Disconnect app maker runs to EU to moan about Android

Privacy app maker Disconnect has filed a formal complaint against Google with the European Commission, adding to the Chocolate Factory’s EU competition woes. “Disconnect charges Google with abusing its dominant market position by banning Disconnect’s app, a revolutionary technology that protects users from invisible tracking …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Jun 2015
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Brexit-fearing Vodafone: Of course we’ll make money from 4G

Vodafone has announced steady-as-she-goes results for the year to 31 March 2015, with group revenue up 10.1 per cent to £42.2bn, and the first increase in service revenue for ten quarters (albeit only 0.1 per cent) — all pretty much in line with what the company had forecast. Emerging markets saw a six per cent increase, …
Simon Rockman, 20 May 2015
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

EMC to channel: Put all your sales eggs in our basket and we'll hurl cash at you

EMC is dangling fatter back-end loaded rebates in front of channelites who agree to all but wipe rivals from their sales ledger. The True programme was introduced at the EMC World knees-up in Las Vegas. Stateside is where it will stay for the time being because competition laws in Europe are preventing a local roll-out, the firm …
Paul Kunert, 18 May 2015
Map showing track of the flight from the UK to Europe

EC probe into murky cross border e-commerce kicks off

The EU’s executive arm has officially launched its probe into the e-commerce sector to find out why Europeans aren’t buying across national borders much. The eCommerce investigation, which was announced in March, aims to identify and stamp out regulatory barriers to crossborder e-commerce. Over the next few weeks, the …
Jennifer Baker, 06 May 2015
Facebook WhatsApp

Facebook profits plunge by a fifth as buyouts soak up Zuck's cash

Profits at global ad platform Facebook plunged by 20 per cent on the year to $512m (£341m) for the company's first quarter, as it shelled out vast amounts of cash in pursuit of world domination. Costs and expenses for the first quarter of 2015 were $2.61bn (£1.74bn), an increase of 83 per cent from the first quarter of 2014. …
Kat Hall, 23 Apr 2015
Rickmote

WORLD+DOG line up to SLAM Google after anti-trust case unveiled

Although EU competition commissioner (and Borgen inspiration) Margrethe Vestager made clear that her decision to slap Google with a statement of objections is about consumers, that hasn't stopped the US firm's Euro detractors queuing up to cheer her decision. Representatives of Fairsearch and ICOMP – both organisations set up …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Apr 2015
Poor people in India queue for a political party-sponsored medical check. Pic: Welfare Party of India

India tech firms flee from Facebook's 'freebie access' Internet.org

Indian companies have skedaddled from Facebook's Internet.org initiative to supply free internet to under-served countries on the grounds that the scheme was anti-competitive. The free content ad network's plan apparently aims to offer access for free websites and applications signed onto the scheme over participating internet …
Darren Pauli, 16 Apr 2015
Google UK office logos

WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?

Analysis Google made the internet a bit more crappy and considerably less diverse, breaking its own vows along the way. That’s what the EU’s competition division declared earlier today, in a formal Statement of Objections. So what’s their beef? If you’ve a long memory, you’ll find uncanny parallels with Microsoft’s behaviour in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2015

'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

Google has 10 weeks to respond to Brussels' preliminary finding that the world's largest ad broker abused its dominant position in the search market in Europe. However, the company was quick to attack competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager's decision to issue a Statement of Objections against Google on Wednesday. …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2015