Google Promises To Point To Competitor's Results To Settle Antitrust Claims In Europe

from the what-does-that-do? dept

Europe has been threatening antitrust charges against Google for quite some time now, and it appears that European regulators have now reached a bizarre settlement with Google in which the company promises "to give rivals more prominence in its promoted results," using a process in which those companies can bid on these slots. Here's how the NY Times describes it:
That includes displaying results from three competitors every time Google shows its own results for searches related to products, restaurants and hotels.

Rivals will have to pay Google each time their results are shown next to the search giant’s own results through a bidding process overseen by an independent monitor, according to European officials.
I'm at a loss as to how this makes any sense for anyone. First, why are European regulators involved in determining what Google should or should not show anyone? If Google users don't like the results they get, they don't have to stick with Google. Second, this actually gives Google's competitors less incentive to build a better product, because they get an easy in to be included in Google. How does that benefit anyone?

Yes, any time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position -- and that's clearly what European regulators are concerned with. But what is the evidence of actual abuse here, and how does this solution prevent that abuse? That doesn't appear to be explained anywhere. This whole process, from the beginning, has appeared to be mostly a Microsoft-driven attempt to dump an annoying regulatory process on Google, just because it, too, has had to waste time with European regulators. Rather than compete by building better products, the focus has been on using the political process to try to slow down a competitor.


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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 12:33pm

    '...searches related to products, restaurants and hotels.'

    'Restaurants and hotels'? Wasn't aware google was branching out that much, though I suppose this could just be another indication as to how little thought was actually put into the ruling.

    At least the ruling gets one thing right, and treats those 'Sponsored results' as what they are, forced advertisement, meaning they have to pay google each time their result gets added to search results as part of the 'deal', though I'm sure they had been hoping to just force google to promote them without having to pay for it.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:26pm

    So now whenever I use Google, I'm also simultaneously using three other search engines at the same time. This means I have no need to use those other search engines by themselves. Additionally, they pay Google every time I use Google. So the most likely effect this is going to have on the search engine market is Google getting a larger market share. Jesus Christ.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:26pm

    Can this be used to game the search results?

    Google works hard to keep people from gaming the search results. Probably especially advertising placement.

    So, the fine dining establishment "Joe's Rat and Roach Hole" has been unable to get good placement. Even when using shady SEO companies, but I am being redundant.

    So, Joe's brother Jim starts up a "competitor" to Google, Jim's Search Finder Keeper Sticky Finger.

    Jim's search finder bids for top placement in Google's competitive results. Naturally Jim gives Joe's RatRoach top placement.

    Like government fingers in the pie Magic(tm), suddenly Joe's RatRoach is near the top of the search results!

    Or am I misunderstanding something?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:37pm

    "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    Enough said... BUT Mike goes on:

    "But what is the evidence of actual abuse here, and how does this solution prevent that abuse?"

    And the puzzling! Maybe Google paid or coerced them to get a ruling it wanted, thinly disguised.

    Where Mike's "no evidence of real harm" means he wants to let secretive mega-corporations continue to grow. (12 of 198)

    10:37:02[l-370-2]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:42pm

    Re:

    You have no proof of this claim. It is a baseless accusation of a service you do not like. Your comment is null and void. Come back with some evidence of your libel.

     

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    mdpopescu (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:47pm

    Clearly?

    "... and that's clearly what European regulators are concerned with".


    Maybe I'm slow today; please explain to me what's so clear about it. Use small words.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:56pm

    First, why are European regulators involved in determining what Google should or should not show anyone? If Google users don't like the results they get, they don't have to stick with Google.

    Funny, that's precisely my response to the whole net neutrality debacle. I am glad we finally agree on something Masnick.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree that there is no proof but he didn't make a claim either. He was just putting out a possible scenario that has no evidence.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:06pm

    Re:

    Google shows its own results for searches related to products, restaurants and hotels

    Google shows its own results, Ie. their own ads. That is what this is about. Google ads are what is causing the problem. Had Google not owned an ad company there wouldn't have been a case here. Google has a "do no evil" frontend, but their ad-network is not part of that.

     

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  10.  
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    Sunhawk (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    Not the brightest of decisions, no.

    I mean, to be honest, I don't care too much on the search engine "market share" Google has, as long as they don't do underhanded stuff like hide links to services that compete with one of Google's.

    If I don't think the results are what I'm looking for? Eh, I can always move over to something else, like DuckDuckGo or (well, okay, probably not) Bing.

     

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  11.  
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    PRMan, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Exactly. Google leveraging their search monopoly to power their ad network can be viewed as anti-competitive. I don't agree, but I don't think the logic is as bad as the summary suggests.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:28pm

    it makes the guy who's leaving the EU Regulator's head position look good! instead of doing his job, he's done the job Google's competitors should have done and given people a reason to use a different search engine! nothing like going out in what appears to be a blaze of glory! just another example really of the much recent publicity thrown at corruption in the EU. they need to add a few more names, like those from the European Commission and a couple of other sections as well

     

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  13.  
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    Some Guy, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:28pm

    Next week's lawsuit

    Next week there will be a new lawsuit against Google for using competitors' info in their search results.

    Step 1. Sue Google to force them to promote our results.
    Step 2. Sue Google again for using our results.
    Step 3. Sue Google for stopping to use our results.
    Step 4. Repeat.
    Step 5. Laugh all the way to the bank.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:31pm

    As long as I can find a search engine that I don't have to see ads on, be that placement, or in the text, or in the search results, Google will be the last search engine on earth I'd use.

    I tend not to reward those practices I despise with my usage.

     

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  15.  
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    Some Guy, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Google is really just a front for the Illuminati, the alien overlords that control everything behind the scenes.

    Or another scenario,

    The regulatory body is being paid off by lobbyists to try to get their corporate friends a piece of Google's pie.

    Could go either way....

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Can this be used to game the search results?

    You are missing the part where Joe's cousin is part of the regulatory body and he would receive an extra special xmas gift if his cousin's establishment does better.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, Google shows information from their own products. How shocking and evil.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:54pm

    Re:

    Funny, that's precisely my response to the whole net neutrality debacle. I am glad we finally agree on something Masnick.

    Except that only works if there's competition and switching costs are effectively low. In search, that's true. In broadband, it's not.

    But, you know, you've never been big on basic things like "facts."

     

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  19.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:01pm

    Da fuq?

    Antitrust? Come on, Google may have forced other search engines to close with its innovations, but not all of them, and its main competitors (Bing and Yahoo!) sprang up after Google got market share. Basically, Google is big because people like its results, not through antitrust.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:04pm

    "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    Enough said... BUT Mike goes on:

    "But what is the evidence of actual abuse here, and how does this solution prevent that abuse?"

    And the puzzling! Maybe Google paid or coerced them to get a ruling it wanted, thinly disguised.

    Where Mike's "no evidence of real harm" means he wants to let secretive mega-corporations continue to grow. (12 of 198)

    12:04:23[n-17-5]


    The prior post lasted more than an hour before censored! By coincidence, The Masnick posted here just before my check, so it's a fair conjecture that most of the repeated censoring is by Mike hisself.

     

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    Beta (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:06pm

    we interpret interference as spam and route around it

    So those three links will be at the top of the list, just after the (ordinary) sponsored ones? So now I have to scroll down past the top five to get to the real results? That's easy enough, although a browser plug-in to do it for me would be nice...

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:12pm

    Regulators are bent on destroying the Internet for consumers. They can't do it all at once because the Internet provides the infrastructure to communicate any laws that directly and quickly destroy it to a people that will get very angry (ie: see SOPA). But what they can do is pass bills and make rulings (ie: bogus patent infringement rulings) that each carry a burden small enough to prevent mass protests but plentiful enough to eventually add up to a huge burden that will destroy the Internet for consumers.

    Just look at broadcasting monopolies. Did the government pass the current state of laws all at once? No, it was a gradual process. Kinda like boiling a frog into a pan slowly vs throwing it in all at once. The government can't immediately grant corporate interests broadcasting monopolies because that would outrage the public. No, they have to start little by little until ... eventually ... you have a broadcasting system where monopolistic corporations have broadcasting and cableco monopolies at consumer expense. The govt established monopolists no longer have to compete for their customers by providing them with a better product and so they can get away with overcharging you and bombarding you with commercials and propaganda.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re:

    So Google own 67% of the search market and there's competition?

    http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2289560/Googles-Search-Market-Share-Shoots-Back-to-67

    There's far more competition in broadband between telcos, cable companies, over-the-air and satellite.

    Try again.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:14pm

    Note to Microsoft: stop trying to push Bing, it's not going to happen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Market share is not a measure of how much competition there is. Where I live there are only like two or maybe three Internet providers (if that). There is little competition. OTOH I can choose among many many search engines. There is plenty of competition. That a huge share of the market voluntarily chooses Google out of the many search engines available doesn't diminish the amount of competition there is. Conflating the two is dishonest. You should know better.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:52pm

    "has appeared to be mostly a Microsoft-driven attempt to dump an annoying regulatory process on Google, just because it, too, has had to waste time with European regulators."

    wow, you HONESTLY believe that ?? this was done because in the past Microsoft had a run in with European regulators, so they said "lets get Google!"

    Amazing !!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:57pm

    Re: "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    "The prior post lasted more than an hour before censored! By coincidence, The Masnick posted here just before my check, so it's a fair conjecture that most of the repeated censoring is by Mike hisself."

    was that ever in any doubt?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    competition between telcos exists in many places in name only. The reason is that the various telcos have in large regions a monopoly on the actual landlines and while there might be competition on paper the reality is that there is often only one actual supplier. That does not apply to search engines since it doesn't matter where you are you can always choose between all of them.

    removal of net neutrality threatens this choice if the telcos decide to restrict access to search engines according to shady backroom deals. And they can do that because they only have competition in name only.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 5:19pm

    Re:

    What's hard to believe Darryl? I know you have a hard time thinking, but this is simple.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You should be a comedian.

     

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  31.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:13pm

    So based on standard advertising terms and fees Google should most likely charge a minimum of $1000 to $5000 per search result for each time these competitirs are displayed.


    Hey That's okay.. Think of the crowd sourcing that people who hate Microsoft (Bing) could do by searching specific things just so that Micro$oft can start paying absolutely huge amounts of money to Google.

    10,000 hits per day * $1000 = $10M per day... WOOT!!!

    Really... did ANYONE actually think of the knock on Payment affect of this to these so called 'competitors'? IDIOTS!

     

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    Duke (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:29pm

    The end users aren't the only people involved...

    First, why are European regulators involved in determining what Google should or should not show anyone? If Google users don't like the results they get, they don't have to stick with Google.
    While I agree with much of what was written, I think this bit isn't quite right. Google has a dominant position in the search market. While end users (people Googling search) may be able to switch to another search engine if they want to, the other users (site operators) can't - they have to rely on Google as that is what most searchers use.

    So if Google decides to promote its own e.g. map services above other ones, it is using its dominant position as a search engine to give its map service a competitive advantage, and there's nothing its competitors can do to affect how many of the Google searchers find their site. No matter how much they improve it, they won't be found by people using Google, i.e. the majority of Internet users.

    It is a competition law issue not because of the direct affects on searchers, but on people who want to be found.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:13pm

    "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    Enough said... BUT Mike goes on:

    "But what is the evidence of actual abuse here, and how does this solution prevent that abuse?"

    And the puzzling! Maybe Google paid or coerced them to get a ruling it wanted, thinly disguised.

    Where Mike's "no evidence of real harm" means he wants to let secretive mega-corporations continue to grow. (12 of 198)

    15:13:02[q-170-2]

     

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  34.  
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    Phill, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:33pm

    Fun time

    Google should dynamically fetch those competing results from the competitor for every search, I'm sure their competitors servers will enjoy the extra work in addition to having to pay google for the displayed result.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:46pm

    Google is a monopoly backed by the US government via lobbying dollars.

    How about you instead explain how that benefits anyone?

     

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  36.  
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    fred, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:52pm

    if you dont think google is a bad, just try to remove their search from an android device. Captive market of almost half of smart phone users.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 9:20pm

    Re:

    Try to remove Apple from an iPhone

    My god, a company has THEIR software on THEIR operating system, the nerve of them. EVIL I say. EVIL.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    so even going from your numbers, they only have 2/3s market share.

    Guess what is in that other 1/3?

    It is called the competition.

    How can 1 person be so wrong so often.

     

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  39.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So Google own 67% of the search market and there's competition?

    Yes. There's Bing and Yahoo and Ask and Blekko and DuckDuckGo and Startpage and a bunch of others. And to use any of them costs nothing with no real switching costs.

    Marketshare does not indicate whether or not there's competition. If all the competitors suck, well... how is that Google's fault?

    There's far more competition in broadband between telcos, cable companies, over-the-air and satellite.


    That's laughable and clearly not true.

    Also you of course skipped over the point that I raised about switching costs. Because you're dishonest. Even worse, you're paid to be dishonest.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 12:00am

    out_of_the_blue, darryl and average_joe just hate it when due process is enforced. And since they read hidden comments they'll have to read this too.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re:

    Duckduckgo is powered by bing, so what is your aversion to using bing directly? (Bing uses google anyway)

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 2:00am

    Re:

    The search bar in the home screen is part of the launcher, you can simply install an alternative launcher. The search application probably can be disabled (like many of the builtin applications) or replaced by an alternative implementation of its intents (like many of the builtin applications); I haven't tried, since I never use it and it doesnt' bother me. Yeah, Android is quite open, which is why I like it.

     

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  43.  
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    DerivedVariable, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 3:38am

    I can see where the regulators are coming from

    As someone who works in the search space I can see where the regulators are coming from.

    People seem to think that it's Restaurants and Hotels complaining about not being placed prominently enough. It is in fact brokers and travel agents (like Kayak or TripAdvisor) or restaurant and entertainment guides (TimeOut for example) who are complaining.

    Google bought various companies in these fields. The most recent large acquisition being ITA the company which controls the booking systems of most major airlines. They previously also purchased Zagat and Frommer.

    What these brokers, review sites etc are seeing is Google buying a key competitor, integrating their data and then using that data in plus boxes on Google which are set apart and very visually distinct from the offerings of other broker or review sites.

    For example, if you do a search for "hotels in san francisco" you get a prominent white plus box (marked as "sponsored" but separate from the "ads") showing a selection of hotels and room prices which when clicked on leads you to "Google Hotel Finder". The fact that the box is white is important as historically the background color was always used to distinguish ads from organic results.

    There is an equivalent Google service for Flights and Google maps and places products (which are very much integrated from a Google search perspective) includes rating and reviews for restaurants, venues, hotels etc.

    Google Shopping is encroaching on the various deal finder sites that had popped up and again results from that show up in boxes separate from the general ads.

    Also, note that unless you pay Google you will never show in the Google Shopping results. I am not sure if this also the case with the Hotel results (since I have not run campaigns for Hotel clients) but given the "sponsored" mark I am pretty sure that even if that is not the case now it will be the case soon. In any case, people who pay Google will be much more likely to show up in the results than the poor schlubs who don't.

    To conclude, even if Google's competitors in this space offer a fuller featured service or better deals Google currently gives more prominence to info from services and offerings it controls and gets money for.

    Now, remedy wise I believe the ruling is to force Google to give direct access to Google's competitors to these "sponsored" plus boxes etc. That's what I read into it from the brief snippet though so it might be missing some important nuances elaborated on in the full text.

    I should also add that unlike in the US where Bing and Yahoo still manage to account for just about 20% of traffic their share globally is sub 10% and Google's overall share around 90%. Looking at Europe alone their share is around 92 to 93%.

    Ben Edelman, who previously hit my radar due to his investigations into spyware and internet privacy violations by various toolbars etc, did some research and has written about the impact on travel sites of Google's plus boxes:
    http://www.benedelman.org/news/052913-1.html

     

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  44.  
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    Mr. Oizo, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 4:04am

    Google fanboy

    Every time you write about Google, I get the distinct impression that you get money from them. Google is burning the internet on the altar of uniformity. If the EU tells them that they should continue with their homogenization of the internet. Well... isn't that what they wanted in the first place ? However, it is not what the end user ultimately wants, which is strange because Techdirt has a give-the-user-what-they-want view on things, except when it comes to Google.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 4:17am

    surely

    If Google are displaying other search engine results then less people are going to use other search engines. Why bother when Google is displaying the exact result you'd get if you did? When did I walk into the movie Idiocracy?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Does Startpage really count as competition? Since it returns Google results, it's really just a Google proxy.

     

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    Niall (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:29am

    Re: Clearly?

    European regulators are absolute death on large companies abusing their position, such as the famous case of Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer as a critical part of the operating system and default browser, which is why MS had to pay a massive fine, and users get an active choice as to which browser to use in many cases.

    There are other examples, but this is 'clearly' another one, although some feel it is misguided, as no-one forces anyone to use Google, whereas Microsoft had a much more captive audience.

    Ónțelegi acum?

     

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  48.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, just because most people buy Coke or Pepsi doesn't mean people don't have a good choice of other colas, sodas or juices.

     

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  49.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:33am

    Re: Da fuq?

    Yahoo! came after Google? O RLY? Maybe in the current algorithmic search format, but they were certainly doing directory-based search before that.

     

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    Niall (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    4.57pm - 4.04pm (by my display) does not equal more than an hour...

    And are you really, really that sad and pathetic to check that, and to feel that Mike has nothing better to do than hit report lots, when if he even remotely care enough about you he could just spam-filter all your posts?

     

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    Niall (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:38am

    Re: surely

    Jan 20th 1981.

     

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    Sheogorath (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Da fuq?

    Naturally, I was referring to the way all three engines currently perform searches, but you're right that I should have made that clear.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 6:55am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:56pm

    Only if we stipulate to your absurd conflation of a site in the internet with the internet itself is there agreement and there's no reason any sane person would do that without an agenda.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re:

    So the solution to Google showing little snippets of information someone paid them to put there is to force them to... Put little snippets if information someone paid them to put there?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 6:59am

    So if I search for a local restaurant, I will get the 3 best instead of just the one who pays the most.
    I dont see where is the problem here.

    "why are European regulators involved in determining what Google should or should not show anyone?"

    How dare anyone oppose a 'merican company??!?
    You guys are ridiculous

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:06am

    Re: "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    Hold up there little boy blue. If Mike is reporting your posts then the rest of us must not be right? So your theory here is that we all really want to hear what you have to say and find your posts pithy and civil but the evil Mike is censoring you. But how then would one explain the multitude of commenters that point out what an idiot you are? Well those must be Mike too I guess. But why aren't there any comments coming to your aid aside from the off comment from one or two other dudes? It must be that the only actual people here are you, Mike, and the two dudes that agree with you! Sounds pretty close to your dream world where it's just you and Mike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Clueless Buffoon, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:06am

    Re: "time a company gets big, there are risks of them abusing their position"

    Clearly, you do not understand the function of the anti-ootb button, also know as the report button. Nobody likes you and reports your comments, causing them to be HIDDEN, not censored. I wish they were censored though...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Considering they could just switch to any one of a half dozen or so search APIs at the drop of a hat and they provide an alternative to google's UI I'm inclined to say yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Sunhawk (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Amused prejudice caused by years of joking with co-workers about Bing, if I were to be honest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The point of DuckDuckGo is to avoid giving your personal information to the search engine provider. That's why using DuckDuckGo is preferable to using Bing directly. (Personally, I think Bing just sucks and avoid using it, or DDG, for that reason.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    I have an Android device, and removed Google from it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Da fuq?

    Thanks, because I clearly remember being a Yahoo!/Alta Vista user trying out that new-fangled Google thingy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re:

    Nice brick?

    More like a nice trick!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 9:32am

    Re: Google fanboy

    Masnick was named as a Google shill in a court case some while back. He's an obvious shill and his double standard treatment of Google leaves no doubt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 10:23am

    Re: Google fanboy

    Every time you write about Google, I get the distinct impression that you get money from them.

    We've gone over this multiple times and it's not true. Yes, Google has sponsored events we've run twice in the past, but for very low amounts. At times we've used Google's ads, which pay next to nothing. And that's it.

    However, it is not what the end user ultimately wants, which is strange because Techdirt has a give-the-user-what-they-want view on things, except when it comes to Google.

    You're right that we believe strongly in give-the-user-what-they-want. But I'm confused as to how the EU stepping in to force Google to point to competitors does anything to give the user what they want? That's my issue with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Google fanboy

    Masnick was named as a Google shill in a court case some while back. He's an obvious shill and his double standard treatment of Google leaves no doubt.

    This is flat out not true. You can read the details here:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120824/12563220150/apparently-im-google-shill-i-didnt-even-k now-it.shtml

    As you'll note, nothing in there says that we got any money from Google.

    As for the idea that we treat Google with undue reverence, that's also clearly bullshit. We've regularly criticized Google activities.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091228/1803277526.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/article s/20131211/17365325537/youtube-fails-explaining-flood-takedowns-lets-play-videos.shtml
    http://www.tec hdirt.com/articles/20110414/14442013897/youtube-launches-myth-perpetuating-copyright-school-dismisse s-remixes-as-not-original.shtml
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131215/23475125574/disappointing- google-removes-great-privacy-feature-android.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120217/00515617 789/eff-condemns-google-circumventing-safari-privacy-protections.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articl es/20120820/02045620096/google-launches-patent-attack-apple-disappointing-first-company.shtml

    I know that my usual critics think this is all some sort of Google front, but that's simply lies and smears from a concerted group of idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:04pm

    Re:

    So if I search for a local restaurant, I will get the 3 best instead of just the one who pays the most.
    I dont see where is the problem here.


    You have evidence of Google accepting payments to move the top players to the top of the list then. Show it to us.

    How dare anyone oppose a 'merican company??!?
    You guys are ridiculous

    It's called 'sovereignty.' All Google really needs to do is close up their European offices and operate purely from the US. That they choose not to do so subjects them to European laws. This doesn't make the situation any less ridiculous, nor does it lead to what you seem to think is 'Merican Arrogance. Of course, it's so cool to hate on the US, isn't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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