Here's what Google will look like in a post-antitrust Europe

Here's what Google will look like in a post-antitrust Europe

Summary: Google and Europe are hammering out an antitrust settlement. Whether or not EU regulators will bite remains another thing, however.

TOPICS: Cloud, Networking

Google isn't exactly in the European Union's good-books at the moment, as the Internet giant continues to negotiate a settlement with the 28 member state bloc amid allegations of anticompetitive business practices.

After a series of back and forth's between the two, Google's latest settlement package may be just enough to appease regulators, who are eyeing a $5 billion fine or a partial block of its business in the region as a backup last resort.

First published by London's Financial Times (paywalled), leaked images show what Google may look like in Europe after a antitrust settlement is hammered out. The new competition links, which appear under the paid-for "sponsored" search results, are a subtle but important change. With larger text and icons, it allows users to check results from rival search engines and services.

This was one of the biggest reported gripes by EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia with the search giant, noted in a four-pointed letter sent to Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

In the letter, he accused Google of "de facto exclusivity" to shut out competing advertising services, which harms competition.

Here's what it looks like:

(Image: Google/EU; via The Financial Times)

According to the publication, there are 424 new insertions, 377 deletions, and 863 total changes to Google's first offer, as noted by the EU document (labeled "restricted use").

(Image: Google/EU; via The Financial Times)

Topics: Cloud, Networking

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  • This is asinine E.U.

    This is no different than making McDonald's put the prices of Burger King's Whopper and Wendy's square burger up there.

    If you force Google to do that, then let's see you stick other companies with the same standards, you moronic dolts.
    Dennis Gutowski
    • Have you completely missed the competing browsers dialog in windows?

      They already have done this to other companies. In fact google was one of the other companies begging them to make MS do this.
      Johnny Vegas
    • Google

      can't have it both ways, bellyaching to the EU that MS is out of control and needs to have sanctions in place, then doing exactly the same thing and claiming it is unfair when the EU tries to put similar restrictions on them.
    • This is...

      about abuse of a monopoly position in the market (over 90% of the search market) to gain unfair advantage for their other services.

      To use your example, it would be the same if McDonald's had over 90% of all fast food outlets in America and was pretty much excluding competition by using their monopoly position to push the remaining few restaurants out of business by unfair means.

      The US Government had the guts to go against such monopolistic abuse in the early 20th Century, with the likes of Standard Oil, but they seem to have lost their spine along the way, which is why they caved on Microsoft, when the EU stood firm.

      MS were really abusing their position back then and needed to be "put on the leash", that said things like the Browser Ballot are outdated and no longer relevant, IMHO.

      Now Google are trying to do the same thing. It looks like they dropped the "no" from their corporate statement.
  • Europe has systematically failed in the Internet Age

    Europe seems to have utterly failed to capitalize on IT opportunities globally.

    Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft... then we have hardware... Lenovo, HP, Samsung, Dell, Apple

    You could argue that Linux is a success, but only in large part because it's essentially Android, popularized by ... Google.

    Seriously, it must be great to sit back and extort money from the companies that other global investors had the foresight to build and invest in.
    • Linux is Android

      You Android guys are really full of yourselves ... and have a seriously revisionist view of history.
    • This is not revenue raising

      This is not about raising revenue for the EU. It's a market regulation issue. Please stick to the point.
      • You speak as though regulation was in a vacuum

        What is the purpose of regulating the market in this case other than to control the accumulation wealth by one entity in favor of another?

        Maybe you should stick to the point.
        • Competition and real Capitalism

          Regulation of the market is the government doing it's job. Unregulated markets is not Capitalism it is Americanism, and there is a big difference. Capitalism is supposed to work by competition in the marketplace producing best products at the best prices. Americanism is about lobbying from big money and special interests, to secure special privileges for themselves. You know like Apple and the e-book issue, and Apple getting the products banned by Samsung for patent infringement, and then Tim Cook sucking Obama's ass to get this all reversed. Or after the book publishers caved on the cartel issue, good old Apple saying in court "we did no wrong" screw the customer that is the American way. Then there is the NSA removing every last citizens right afforded by the constitution, and rationalizing it with lie after lie.

          Granted the competitive aspects and the anti-competitive aspects of the Capitalist market needs to be maintained, (big fish keep eating little fish until there is no more food left in the pond) and this is supposed to benefit the CONSUMER. But to afford other businesses consumer rights? I don't know? Maybe it forces Google to compete by lowering their advertizing rates, or come up with some improved patented from of advertizing. But how does that put money into the pockets of actual consumers?
  • That's Crazy

    ...and I don't even like Google. Just as dumb as the browser ballot screen.
    • browsers ballout was dumb

      only in the sense that MS should have been fined for the NDA it signs with PC OEMs. It's the Microsoft Tax to be crushed.
      The difference here is that, is not the ONLY search site and it's not included in the price of 95% PCs, whether you like or not, the one you cannot get reimbursed for.
      • I hate to pee on you fire, but ...

        ... we all pay for Google. Every time you buy a product that has advertised via Google's advertising network, you pay Google.

        While Google isn't the only search engine (just like Windows isn't the only OS), it has been found to have acted in anti competitive manner (as was Microsoft) and duly fined and had changes to its business practices imposed (as did Microsoft).

        So much for "don't be evil"
        • +1

          Ram U
          • 0 *

            using the RP notation :)
        • make sure not to pee in your own shoe, while doing that

          >>"Every time you buy a product that has advertised via Google's advertising network, you pay Google. "
          So you pay (if you wish) only AFTER you use the Google product, not a when you pay for a product (you never intend to use) as a bundle to get something else.
          You can choose to bye stuff from bing just as easy as from google. Try the same when buying a laptop that has.... no MS Windows.
          >>'So much for "don't be evil"'
          Are you alluding to the Rockstar Consortium patent trolling business initiated by Microsoft, Apple and other now very openly impudent and evil companies?
          • s/bye/buy/

        • The problem is not paying or not directly or indirectly to google

          The issue is the abuse or not of dominant position.
          We all know that Gmail and other is not for free, as open channel TV and other stuff like the ZDNet site.
          I don't mind some advertising, I prefer that and to have a free cloud email service than having to pay $5 or $10 a month for having it, others might think differently.

          Again there is nothing wrong or illegal about advertising, European authorities are not against that.

          The big fine applied to Microsoft was mainly because they have failed to comply with the rules - supposedly because of a software glitch (that I have a hard time to believe).

          While in a way it's seem part of the democracy to allow abuse of dominant position, I agree with strict rules to control it, and fines should be used to promote competition and act in behalf of the general consumer... doubtful...
          • I am using it for free via good ol' IMAP4 and SMTP

            >"We all know that Gmail is not for free"
            With gmail for a pretty long time I have had an option though to circumvent all the ads. It's the open protocol IMAP4 to read and sync mail, and the open protocol SMTP to send mail. The only annoyance I have with their SMTP is that Google (as every other major mail server) would change my "Return Path" variable to my gmail address no matter how I set it.
            I've been using Mutt for 6 years and recently the GNUS Emacs news and mail clients. Google has been supporting IMAP since 2007, while hotmail never had and outlook has only since 2013. I don't see any ads with it when I am using it, although ads avoidance was and is not the only reason for it.
      • When you can't hate something or someone based on facts, eulampius

        then do what you do and just hate them on stuff you make up yourself.
        • blindness and deafness

          are not very good excuses, Wilkie.