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On Android, US antitrust can go where nervous EU fears to tread

Analysis Europe's Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, faced two very different questions from the media after announcing a record fine for Google last week. One asked the experienced former Danish deputy PM if this wasn't just sour grapes in retaliation for Donald Trump's trade war. Another demanded to know why she wasn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2018
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Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

Comment The European Commission wants to see a thousand Android forks bloom as the result of its decision yesterday to demand remedies from Google for its anti-competitive conduct on mobile. Or if not thousands, then at least a good few. Alternative Androids like FireOS or Lineage OS (formerly CyanogenMod) would become a much more …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2018
young man in medieval peasant costume

Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

Interview Competition watchdogs need to move faster and consider the bigger picture to deal effectively with transnational tech behemoths like Google, says BT's former chief lawyer. For seven years, Tim Cowen was head of BT's competition and regulatory public policy group, dealing with government threats to the telco monopoly. He's now …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018
"Complicated" in faux google logo style

Oracle tells tales about Google data slurps to Australian regulator

Oracle has “provided information … about Google services” to Australian regulators. News Limited organs in Australia on Monday reported that Oracle staffers travelled to Australia to present at the Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) Digital platforms inquiry. That inquiry will “look at the effect that digital …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018

Broadcom's buyout of Qualcomm bogs down as DC blocks merger

The White House crushed Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm, declaring the deal cannot go due to national security concerns. An executive order, handed down by the Trump administration on Monday, says that at the urging of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the President has decided to prohibit the deal and to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Mar 2018
Crying baby in autumn. Photo by shutterstock

We need baby Googles, say search specialists… and one surprising VC

Google's vertical search tormentors in Europe have called for Alphabet's cash cow to be broken up, arguing that Google's solution hasn't improved competition. Google wrote its own remedy in response to the European Commission's ruling that it distorted competition, using penalties to demote rival niche search products such as …
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Huawei claims national security is used as plausible excuse for 'protectionism'

Huawei has told an Australian parliamentary committee it believes national security is sometimes being used to hide protectionist trade policies. The Chinese comms gear giant made the comments to the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth, which is conducting an inquiry into trade and the digital economy. US …
Batman. Credit: DC Comics.

Autsch! Germany slaps Facebook in its abusive little face for 'limitlessly amassing data'

Germany's competition authority has accused Facebook of abusing its market dominance to "limitlessly amass every kind of data" on people. The Bundeskartellamt informed the American social media giant on Tuesday of its "preliminary legal assessment" that by forcing third-party websites and apps – including WhatsApp, Instagram …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2017
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It's 2017 and the UK's competition watchdog just got a data-tech team

The Competition and Markets Authority is to assemble a dedicated team to handle the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence and big data in business. The move is intended to improve the CMA's capability to collect and study data, analyse how companies use data and algorithms, and the implications for consumers and …
Richard Priday, 13 Nov 2017
axe splits wood

Splitting off Google Shopping wouldn't fix the pay-to-play problem

As the European Commission mulls Google's own remedy to its anti-competitive behaviour on the web, the former startup behind the original complaint has warned of possible consequences. Foundem was destroyed by Google's promotion of its own Google Shopping – which doesn't offer customers the best deal, but is another pay-for- …

FCC commish cites infamous porn ruling to slam shady US mobile competition report

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel made her presence felt at her first meeting in a year at the US communications regulator on Wednesday – when she cited an infamous Supreme Court decision over pornography to slam a report claiming there was sufficient competition in the American mobile market. "For the first time since 2009 …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2017
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Google will appeal €2.9bn EU fine

Alphabet will appeal the €2.9bn fine imposed by the European Commission in June for abusing its market dominance in search. It's no surprise, particularly after Intel's successful appeal last week bounced the Commissions case back down to the lower court. Google UK office logos WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Sep 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google has some sort of plan for not favouring its own shopping service

About three hours before the deadline on a 60-day compliance period, Google has submitted its plans for meeting a European Union antitrust order. Regulators slapped Google with a €2.42bn fine in June for putting its shopping service ahead of others in search results, and ordered it to stop within 90 days. The search giant had …
Andrew Silver, 30 Aug 2017
Samsung UE65JS9000 65-inch UHD TV

Murdoch will get EU green light for full Sky takeover – reports

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox will gain EU clearance for its full takeover of Sky, according to sources who whispered to Reuters. The newswire reported that two people familiar with the matter told it that EU regulators will approve the £18.5bn takeover. Back in December shareholders agreed the takeover of the British pay …

Algorithms no excuse for cartel behaviour, says European commish

European Commissioner has urged competition enforcers to keep an eye out for cartels that use software “to work more effectively”, in a speech about algorithms and competition today. Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, said: "If those tools allow companies to enforce their cartels more strictly, we may need to …
Kat Hall, 16 Mar 2017
Bear

Apple accused of counter-revolutionary pricing in Russia

Russia's anti-monopoly regulator has taken a bite out of Apple, finding that Cupertino's local outpost fixed iPhone prices in the country. The Federal Antimonopoly Service's (FAS) investigation found that the company fixed iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 products in the retail supply chain. Not only does the FAS say Apple set retail …

Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement

Streetmap has lost its application to appeal against last year’s High Court judgement that Google did nothing wrong by promoting its own Maps product above Streetmap’s. “The bully boys won the day,” said Streetmap, immediately after the judgement was delivered. “This is a sad day for the internet.” Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, …

The Great British domain name rip-off: Overcharged .uk customers help pay for cheaper .vodka

UK domain name holders are being overcharged while the company behind it wins contracts by undercutting the market in what may be illegal market abuse. In recent months, Nominet has signed a number of contracts with commercial operators of dozens of internet extensions ranging from .boston to .vodka. More deals are in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2016

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