Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

Summary: Google won a significant minor battle with yesterday's dismissal of TradeComet.com's private antitrust suit - yet the war goes on.

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By now, you've doubtless heard that Google is facing intense scrutiny, with regulatory bodies in the United States and the European Union looking into the search giant's business practices. But Google won a significant minor battle with yesterday's dismissal of TradeComet.com's private antitrust suit - yet the war goes on.

TradeComet's case was simple, as the company claimed that Google had purposely and unfairly demoted its sites' ranking on search result pages in order to squelch competition.

The suit was dismissed over lack of venue, as TradeComet filed in New York but Google insisted that any cases have to be filed in its home county in California. A court agreed once in March 2010, dismissing the case for the first time, and now TradeComet has lost its appeal, too. The full ruling is available here.

It remains unclear what TradeComet's next steps are, but in an e-mailed statement making the rounds, the company insists that the suit's dismissal was a matter of procedure and that its claims are substantiative and strong. We could potentially see a new suit filed in California, or TradeComet could attempt to escalate to the Supreme Court -  if it doesn't drop the case entirely.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, TradeComet.com's case is even more notable given the company's apparent links to Microsoft. In fact, Charles “Rick” Rule, Microsoft's outside antitrust counsel extraordinaire, represented TradeComet in this case. Microsoft has denied any involvement in any lawsuits against Google.

Another interesting side note is that Rule is also representing myTriggers.com, which, with this news, is now the only outstanding private antitrust suit against Google in the US.

Needless to say, Google can't rely on a dismissal every time, and I remain curious to see how the search giant defends itself when the time comes.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Google, Security

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16 comments
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  • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

    Courts. That is how Microsoft and Apple compete these days.
    tatiGmail
    • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

      @tatiGmail : And Google is at the other end because they like to grab other company's technologies as they think it's free to take.
      Gisabun
      • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

        @Gisabun

        Coping is also known as competition, which is a key factor in driving the American economy. Just to remind you.

        Microsoft playing dirty pool? What else is new, that's how they do business despite their convicted monopolist status.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

        @tatiGmail

        Q: Did MS become a monopoly by suing or by innovating?
        A: Innovating.

        Q: Was their innovation technological or marketing?
        A: Marketing. They were the first to effectively bundle; that is, to give products away at reduced or no cost in an effort to create barriers to entry that individual competitors could not match. WordPerfect couldn't also offer a spreadsheet, etc. Add in a free, great browser (yes, IE 4 and 5 were actually good at the time), a free, great media player (yes, Windows Media Player was a whole lot better than Real at the time), a free TCP/IP stack, etc., and make it so that no one else could offer the full suite of OS tools and office productivity.

        Q: What is Google doing now?
        A: Applying the TV model to the Web. This looks eerily similar to what MS did. Erect enormous barriers to entry by giving as much away as possible. Google makes money one way, on search advertising. Everything else is a way to drive users to that product and make sure competing products can't get a toehold.

        I am *not* defending MS' actions in the 80 and early 90s. But I also fully appreciate that the reason there is a robust competition on the Internet today is because MS were stifled by antitrust watchdogs. As a citizen of Massachusetts, I'm proud that my state went the furthest in holding MS' feet to the fire. Indeed, I fully believe that there would be no Google, and no Apple resurgence (and no Mozilla, for that matter) were it not for the fact that MS had its hands largely tied.

        I consider this competition a good thing. If I were a company interested in advertising on the Internet, I'd be looking at Google's antitrust situation with the same optimism.

        I want a weak, hungry MS, as well as a weak, hungry Google. MS is releasing it's best products in it's history: Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, xBox 360, Bing, etc., because they have been forced to compete. From a consumer standpoint, MS has been "rehabilitated." The first sign that Google may be already getting lazy is how much better Bing has become than Google. In the case of Android, Google's mobile OS is clearly built largely on the backs of other, "real" innovators. Let's make sure Google is forced to compete fairly so we can continue to enjoy great things from them, too. We will all win.

        And if MS' recent quarterly report can be seen as a metaphor, even Google may win by having their feet held to the antitrust fire.
        x I'm tc
  • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

    This does look procedural to some extent. Not sure what jurisdiction this applies to. But if there is a case, it should be heard in California.

    Edit: I mean if TradeComet does have a case, and it may, it should refile.
    hoaxoner
  • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

    Google didn't had long term vision and that is something they regret now. The stole IP and code and build products on top of it and made many enemies in the process. So many small business were forced to shutdown and years worth of work and investment lost. Will these go unpunished? NO. Google demise from many markets is a matter of time.
    owlnet
    • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

      @owlnet say what? Thanks God you never became an investment advisor.
      tatiGmail
    • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

      @owlnet More uninformed comments for the expert peanut gallery. You have nothing but the claims you read in the paper, but you know so much.
      timspublic1@...
  • Figures

    Google wins the appeal on a technicality.
    Gisabun
  • Odd, my search fails

    I search for [search engines] on Bing and it doesn't list either Google, or MyTriggers (which seems to be a search engine from visiting their site).

    A search for [search engine] (singular) in Bing gives me Bing in the listing, then Yahoo, but not Google.

    How do Google survive without traffic from Bing? or MyTriggers for that matter?
    guihombre
    • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

      @guihombre
      Probably your system has an issue. I tried it on PC, Mac, Ubuntu, iPad and Android Tablet. I opened the browser and went to www.bing.com and searched for Google and the very first result was Google. Either you are sarcastic or just trolling for fun.
      Ram U
      • I get this

        Search Bing for [search engine], I'm on holiday in Thailand<br>1. Yahoo<br>2. Bing<br>3. SiamGuru.com<br>4. News (Bing news insert)<br>5. Wikipedia english<br>6. bcoms.net<br>7. Wikipedia Thai<br>8. websiteselldomain.com<br>9. pirun.ku.ac.th<br>10. thaiquest.com<br>11. clickmedesign.com<br><br>So the results lists a domain for sale site but not Google. <br><br>Either it's incompetence or malicious, but IMHO, it's incompetence. They were caught scraping Google using their toolbar to watch what people search for. How many people search for 'search engine' in English in Thailand Google while having that Microsoft toolbar installed and that 'help improve us' option turned on (the one if you check it sends your searches back to MS). I'm guessing it's zero, which is why the results are just junk - nothing to scrape.
        guihombre
    • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

      @guihombre Google is on the 2nd page. Stop blaming bing/MS. Little more patience is required before jumping into conclusions.
      sandeep.splash
      • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

        @Rama.NET [sight] have you read Guihombre's post? he searched for "search engine" not "google" like you did. Bing would really fail (even more) if they could not even search for "google" :-p

        @sandeep.splash If Bing would be a decent search engine, they would provide the most relevant results first. Given that Google is still the biggest search engine (like it or not, it's a fact) you would expect it to be in the top 10 result, if not the top 3.
        What do I care if Facebook is listed on the 6th page if I would search for "social network" (just a hypothetical example, don't start to prove me wrong)? You just stop using a search engine when you see that it fails to give you the most relevant results first. Bing is around long enough to provide such simple functionality so patience is not the case here....
        belli_bettens@...
      • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

        @sandeep.splash LMFAO! on the second page? Google is under attack being accused of antitrust violations (something a company would have to have a near monopoly position on a market in order to engage in) and Bing lists it on page two in a search for search engines?
        techadmin.cc@...
        • RE: Google wins small victory in antitrust suit

          @techadmin.cc@... BTW I stopped using Microsft for search years ago when I had to go to page three or four to find Sun Open Office when searching for "Open Office". At that time every other search engine I knew of put Sun Open Office as the number one search result. Other competing products to Microsoft were similarly buried. Google was also the first search engine to give clear differentiation between paid for advertisements and actual search results.

          So far everything I have read about these antitrust complaints come from "alternative" search engines that use primary search engines to hijack and redirect search queries from legitatmite search engines. I can not stand it when I go directly to Google or Yahoo to perform a search and among the top results are links that merely take me to somebody else's search page. Searchjacking is not a valid business model, regardless of the income they are able to make from it, and there is no reason why a search engine should not be able to prevent the practice as it sabotages the value of their own results in order to steer business towards the leeches.
          techadmin.cc@...