Google & EU Settle Antitrust Claims Over Competitor Links

Feb 6, 2014 • 8:08 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google News & Finances

Google LondonYesterday, news broke via Bloomberg that Google and the European Union have settled over the anti-trust probe regarding rival links in the search results.

Google will dodge EU fines and any finding that it discriminated against competing sites, a year after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission dropped a similar investigation by saying Google was motivated more by innovation than by trying to stifle competition.

The five-year pledge to the European Commission lets Google add new services or alter its search page as long as it grants three links to rival services next to its own specialized search results such as Google Shopping, the Brussels-based EU said. Competitors will pay at least 3 euro cents (4 U.S. cents) to bid for a spot in a shaded box on some of Google’s search pages.

How far will Google have to go to make the EU happy about showing competition in the search results? Danny Sullivan posted examples of images the EU posted on what they expect to see. Will Google go to this extreme? I can't imagine but we will see:

Here are examples:

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This is some bold stuff expected from Google.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Cre8asite Forums & Google+.

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02/07/2014 07:55 pm

am I the only one troubled by this? I know Google has a crazy marketshare, but I still don't like the idea of forcing them to display competitor links on their site. It's THEIR SITE. To me, this feels like forcing Meijer to sell Kroger brand groceries on their shelves. As long as they're not stealing content without attribution (see: knowledge graph) I think Google should be able to put whatever they want on their site - and if consumers don't like it they can vote by using Bing or DuckDuckGo or another search engine. Google is not a government commodity. People will surely bring up phone company regulation, but I don't think that's the same.Granted it's not easy to start a competing search engine, but difficulty of competition shouldn't be the factor. There's technically nothing stopping somebody from creating their own search engine except time and money and technical ability. In the phone company case, there were real restrictions - like the govt not letting anybody just go create their own network of cables across the countries. People will bring up browsers too, but in the browser case it was about MS not giving you choice of which to use. Google isn't taking away anybody's choice of what search engine to use or where to shop. I just don't like this. I think it sets a bad precedent.


02/07/2014 07:58 pm

Also worth thinking about: if Google shopping is pay per inclusion, and now they have to include competing results, is it safe to assume those results didn't pay? If so, why stop there? Can I get my ads to show in adwords without paying?


02/10/2014 09:44 am

i think google need to be separated from adwords. 5-6 feb lot of changes, it just dropping most of sites.

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