Wednesday, 30 August 2017 08:33

Google bows to EU search demands, offers no detail Featured

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Search behemoth Google has bowed to the demands of the European Union that it make changes to ensure that its search engine dominance does not give illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service.

The company said on Tuesday, the deadline for telling the EU how it planned to comply, that it would be sharing such a plan with regulators.

No detail was offered, according to a Bloomberg report.

The EU hit the company with a fine of US$2.7 billion in June and asked it to end its behaviour within 90 days or else face penalties of up to 5% of the daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, its parent company.

At the time, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of EU competition policy, said: "Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That's a good thing.

"But Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals."

The EU said in an emailed statement that it was Google;'s responsibility to comply with the ruling.

The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, a coalition of tech and media companies, called for the Google plan to be made public. It asked the EU to publish details of how Google had breached anti-trust law.

"ICOMP calls for publication of the full commission decision and Google’s remedy proposals so that we and the public generally can compare the proposals (if any) with the Commission’s assessment of Google's wrongdoing," ICOMP chairman Michael Weber said in a statement.

"These affect everyone in the online and mobile worlds, so they must be made public for evaluation.”

The EU said last month that Google could also face a fine over how it pays and limits mobile phone providers who use its Android mobile operating system and app store.

A third investigation, into Google's Adsense advertising service, may also bring a fine; the EU is said to have made a preliminary determination that Google has abused its dominant position.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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