Google faces yet another EU antitrust complaint from tech group

Google faces yet another EU antitrust complaint from tech group

Summary: A coalition of technology companies, which includes Microsoft, has submitted a further complaint against the search giant to European antitrust authorities.

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TOPICS: EU, Google
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While Google continues to work with European authorities to settle an ongoing antitrust investigation, the search giant is facing yet another complaint from a coalition of rival technology firms.

ICOMP, a coalition of technology companies—including Microsoft, which founded and funds the lobbying group—has filed a formal complaint against Google under Article 101 of Europe's competition laws.

According to Bloomberg, the European Commission confirmed today it had received the complaint.

In a statement on the group's Web site, the coalition focuses its the new complaint on the "unlawful means" by which Google reached its market dominance in the first place.

"The ICOMP complaint points to Google's broad-ranging and illegal network of agreements with partners from across the IT sector, and explains that Google has reached its current size through anticompetitive practices, rather than because of any inherent technological superiority over its rivals," the group said.

Under three umbrellas of concern, ICOMP's latest complaint covers Googe's practices in search, towards advertisers, and how the company deals with content publishers.

Google, which has 90 percent market share in the EU, reached its current state of market dominance by "illegally blocking rival search engines' access to customers and consumers," the allegations read.

The group explained that as a result of Google's alleged behavior, ICOMP's members have suffered to the point where in some cases they have ultimately had to leave the market.

Because Google is in the unique position of being able to access almost all internet users in Europe, rival advertising platforms have become less attractive to the advertisers and publishers they typically depend on for income.  Google also forces its advertising and publishing partners to work with it exclusively, compounding these effects.  Over time, rival search engines and advertising platforms have found that they cannot compete with Google, and many have been forced to exit the market. 

A Google spokesperson declined to comment when approached by ZDNet.

If the European Commission decides it wants to bring charges against Google, it will first send out an open request for comments to rival businesses and customers. If that is successful, it could bring a case against the search giant. 

Last week, Google submitted further proposals to the EU antitrust authorities with moments to spare before the 12 midnight deadline. By settling, the search giant will avoid admitting wrongdoing but also evade having to pay massive fines, that ordinarily could be as much as 10 percent of the company's global annual turnover for the infringing period. 

Topics: EU, Google

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  • Perfectly valid complaint.

    "The ICOMP complaint points to Google's broad-ranging and illegal network of agreements with partners from across the IT sector, and explains that Google has reached its current size through anticompetitive practices, rather than because of any inherent technological superiority over its rivals," the group said."

    - The above statement is totally true. Just a few years ago, Google ads were showing all sorts of illegal ads including drug and women. Also youtube achieved it's status for hosting all the illegal or pirated content.

    Also Google has ZERO technological superiority for anything software, most of their software are either open source, pirated or copied.
    Owlll1net
    • you just lie

      Without google:
      - no maps
      - no translates
      - expensive codecs
      - no OS competition
      - no relevant search results
      - no self driving cars for blind people
      With Microsoft:
      - terrible searches
      - bribing governments in almost every country
      - bribing manufacturers to slam open source
      - miliards in licences just because Microsoft monpoly
      - total lack of innovations (just see Windows zero innovations - XP is enough)
      - miliards in lobbing

      Google is good so everyone uses him....Microsoft has lost everything new because is incompetent and juat crying via lobbing
      anywherehome
      • I think maps are there even before Google were there.

        Translation was also there.
        Expensive Codecs - hello, we had free codecs even before Google was formed.

        I think you are just a Google fanboy and not bringing anything valuable to the table.
        Ram U
        • no, you lie

          even touch displayw had been before ;)
          but in such a good quality.... ;)
          no, you lie, h264k was far more expensive ;)

          no, just facts, you should read more to know more ;)
          anywherehome
      • Lobbying - Google is the biggest

        and Obama called whom to the dinner when he sworn for the first time. Hint not from Microsoft and IBM. He called Apple, Google etc.
        Ram U
        • maybe

          yes...he has to defend to this companies when they sue Google to slam his abilities:
          http://goo.gl/0y8UO
          anywherehome
        • but

          and this is the reason Google has to defend:
          http://readwrite.com/2013/01/03/googles-ftc-settlement-is-an-epic-fail-for-microsoft
          anywherehome
          • you got it completely wrong

            google being friends with the government was the reason why feds decided to let google off the hook
            vpupkin
      • Seriously?

        Google wasn't the first with maps.
        Apple brought OS competition to the Market.
        Bing and Duck Duck GO have better searches
        Google's has as much monopoly as MS.
        Stephan Sevenyoln
        • :-D

          even air had been before...but not in such a good quality....read more, you will know more ;)
          Apple is just feel of "luxurious" without reason...always the worst one in OS,
          services...everything, except for iTunes
          anywherehome
    • why

      Do you know why I use Google? Besause is the best in search, translates, maps, ....
      Do you know why I dont give a penny to Microsoft? Because he has stolen milliards through bribing and stealing ridiculous patents and taking milliards from licences
      anywherehome
      • You use google because

        You don't have a clue about technology as well as history. Google are a bunch of thieves and they happened to wear suits...
        Owlll1net
        • You might be right

          What are they stealing?!
          AleMartin
          • Your information

            if you're a Safari user, they were anyway.
            Michael Alan Goff
        • ?

          thieves of what??
          they stole the best maps, translates, email?
          youre patetic ;)
          read more here about real thieves:
          http://bit.ly/RYzOPP
          anywherehome
      • It's funny

        because Android keeps getting taken to court for patents...
        Michael Alan Goff
        • yes

          and Apple keeps getting taken to court for patents so Apple is a thief....see more just the facts how Apple rotten is ;)
          http://bit.ly/RYzOPP
          anywherehome
          • I didn't say Apple was innocent

            I was simply pointing out that saying you don't use Microsoft because they're thieves means you wouldn't use Google either.
            Michael Alan Goff
    • Anti competitive?

      Chose another search.
      Altotus
    • Psst

      Your brown envelope is behind the cistern in the bus station toilet.

      Thanks

      SB
      Alan Smithie