November 25, 2017

EU opens up anti-trust investigation on Google

The European Commission has launched an investigation into Google after other search engines complained that the internet giant had abused its dominant position.

The EC will examine whether the world’s largest search engine penalised competing services in its results.

The investigation follows complaints by firms such as Foundem and legal search engine ejustice.fr. that Google manipulates its search results to the detriment of competition.

Google denies the allegations but said it would work with the Commission to “address any concerns”.

“The European Commission has decided to open an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google has abused a dominant position in online search,” the body said in a statement.

It said the action followed “complaints by search service providers about unfavourable treatment of their services in Google’s unpaid and sponsored search results coupled with an alleged preferential placement of Google’s own services.”

The Eurpoean Commission is going for the big trifecta on this one after heavily fining Microsoft and Intel for similar offences in the past.

This case will be a little harder to prove though. In order to prove bias, the EC will need to have Google’s all-important search algorithm broken down, or get lucky with company email correspondence.

The algorithm is the complex set of rules that determine whether a website shows up high or low in Google’s search results. Google treats this algorithm has some kind of sacred object that no one except the chosen few can see.

Such is the power of the internet and Googles dominance in the search market, that Googles search ranking can make or break a company.

The investigation will also look at Googles relationship with it’s advertising partners.

Newswarped likes the fact that Google is getting investigated. When a company achieves a position of market dominance like they have there is always the need for acountability.