In early 2010, Google confirmed that it had received EC complaints from Microsoft-owned Ciao and French legal search engine eJustice.fr—both of which expressed grave concerns about the terms and conditions imposed on Google s advertising syndication partners.At that point, the EC's antitrust boss outlined four different areas of concern.And it's that monopolistic behaviour that sits at the very heart of Google's status as the gatekeeper of the Internet, even as it continues to insist that "competition is just a click away."Others wondered if relationships between it and Google had simply thawed thanks to the arrival of two new chiefs at the companies.So where does Microsoft's exit—complete with the muffling of the funfair trumpet—leave the remaining complainants in the EC antitrust case?However, observers have argued that StreeMap's case was too limited in scope because it failed to address Google's alleged anti-competitive practices of demoting its rivals in the search market.
And its tax policies.The former Google CEO, who now serves as the executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, appeared at the Startup Fest Europe conference in the Netherlands on May 24, discussing everything from artificial intelligence to Google's new chat app Allo — as well as its regulatory environment.Google is currently the subject of antitrust investigations by the European Commission over alleged anti-competitive practices relating to Search and Android, and could face billions in fines.Asked by CNBC interviewer Julia Chatterley about the problems facing Google-linked venture capital firm GV, Schmidt said there are "lots of issues in the European Union that have to get addressed" — and went on to list what he perceives to be the key problems holding back the continent's tech scene, from education to legislation.They're always very nice, Europeans are always very polite."Schmidt is calling for Europe to encourage a more risk-taking business culture, with less interference from regulators.It is repeatable in Europe, without question.Chatterley: You're basically saying we're all talk and no action.Schmidt: Well those are your words ... the fact of the matter is we hire thousands and thousands of Europeans because they don't have startups they would go to.I think Europe could benefit from having more, more, more of this.Now we've seen a big change in the last few years, but it's taking too long.It's time to accelerate this.NOW WATCH: Bumble founder: Men should stop putting these 4 things in their profilesLoading video...
Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair.The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors constitutes anti-competitive conduct.After a supplementary filing by AMD in 2003, the European Commission ground into action in 2004, in an investigation that drew Acer, Dell, Lenovo, HP and NEC into its orbit.After five years, the commission imposed a €1.06 billion-dollar penalty – and in 2012, Intel's formal appeal against the decision was kicked off.Bloomberg quotes the European Commission's lawyer Nicholas Khan as saying the rebate prevented computer makers from seeking out lower prices for processors.No date has been set for a decision, so there's every chance we'll be singing "twenty-one today" to the original filing.
It s the first time the processor manufacturer has visited Chinese courts since losing its 2015 anti-trust case.Last year, after a lengthy investigation into anti-competitive practices by the National Development and Reform Commission in China NDRC , Qualcomm was fined $975 million for abusing its position as market leader over licensing costs and royalties.In addition to the fine — which has the dubious honor of being the largest imposed by Chinese anti-trust authorities — Qualcomm agreed to change its licensing practices.Last year, it also lost a legal battle, when ZTE s Nubia division sued over patents related to the home button design on certain phones.At the end of 2015, Meizu boasted it had sold 20 million smartphones over the year, a massive 350 percent increase over the number reported in 2014.It hoped this would help place the company in China s top five smartphone manufacturers.
Apple has been known to exercise an iron hand when it comes to apps in its iTunes Store, sometimes rejecting updates or even entire apps based on what some claim to be whimsical or downright anti-competitive rules.That is the picture that Spotify is painting in a letter addressed to Apple's general counsel over Apple's recent rejection of an update to Spotify's iOS app.According to the music streaming giant, Apple cites "business model rules" as the reason for the rejection.Which is just another way of saying that it wants Spotify to reinstate in-app billing via iTunes, which would require Spotify to fork over 30% of subscription fees to Apple.Apple is also notorious for its cut in app revenue, which presently stands at 30%.Although developers continually bemoan this rather large portion, they simply swallow the bitter pill in exchange for having access to one of if not the biggest mobile platform in the world.
It s no secret that Google and the EU s anti-competitive practices department have a rocky relationship.Google has been accused of abusing its monopoly power to keep competitors out of the business in the past, and now regulators are doubling down.The European Commission today issued a statement of objections against Alphabet, Google s parent company.The main complaint is the contract Google signs with third-party websites that use its advertising service, which forces websites to put Google s ads front and center, and prevents them from using ads from non-Google services.DON T MISS: Nintendo is launching a mini NES console with 30 games built in this fallThe EU s problem mostly lies with how Google puts conditions on its AdSense program.
View photosMoreAn Android smartphone displays the Google website in this picture illustration in Seoul September 7, 2011.SEOUL Reuters - South Korea's antitrust regulator inspected Google's Seoul headquarters to investigate whether the firm is engaged in anticompetitive behavior over its Android operating system, Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.Yonhap, citing unnamed sources, said the Korea Fair Trade Commission KFTC made the inspection last week and was probing whether Google forced smartphone makers using Android on their devices to not sell products using other operating systems.Regulators began looking into the matter after the European Union brought charges against Google for anticompetitive behavior earlier this year.A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters the KFTC conducted an on-site inspection at Google's South Korean headquarters but declined to elaborate further.Google and the KFTC declined to comment.
Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.comThe US Federal Trade Commission FTC announced that it was suing 1-800 Contacts for allegedly pursuing anticompetitive agreements with rival online contact lens sellers that suppress competition in certain online search advertising auctions.The FTC complaint alleges the bidding agreements unreasonably restrain price competition in internet search auctions, and restrict truthful and non-misleading advertising to consumers .According to a source with knowledge of the agreements, they had been in place for roughly a decade.The stated intention was to protect the trademarks of 1-800 Contacts and roughly 14 other sellers, which presumably didn t want to engage in a bidding war over each others brand terms.The FTC explicitly rejected that notion in its statement about the case: T he bidding agreements are overly broad and not necessary to safeguard any legitimate trademark interest.
Following an antitrust investigation that ultimately determined Google has been engaging in anticompetitive practices in Russia, the company has been slapped by a multi-million dollar fine.What exactly are the anticompetitive practices Google was found to be engaging in?Pre-installing apps on its mobile OS Android, which is by far the most popular smartphone platform in Russia.DON T MISS: One of Apple s biggest wholesale partners is already taking iPhone 7 preordersGoogle includes a number of its own apps in Android and it requires its vendor partners to include many of those apps on their phones if they want access to the Google Play store.The reasons for this are twofold: First, it means putting Google s products and services in front of more eyeballs.
Apple is likely to appeal the decisionApple has been ordered to pay €13bn £11bn in unpaid taxes to the Irish government after the European Commission ruled that it had received illegal state aid.The commission said a sweetheart tax deal between Apple and Ireland was anti-competitive, allowing the company to pay a tax rate as low as 0.005 per cent on its European profits.The company has been under investigation for two years by the EU, in the latest effort to clamp down on alleged tax avoidance by US multinationals.Apple's Irish base in Cork Credit: AFPAt a press conference, Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "This decision sends a clear message.
Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the makers of the EpiPen, spent the past decade making sure that its life-saving allergy product was in as many public schools as possible.But the company has come under fire in recent weeks for raising the price of the drug from roughly $57 in 2007 to about $600 today—all for about $1 worth of medicine.Now the New York Attorney General s Office is investigating whether Mylan broke antitrust laws in the contracts it made with schools.At issue is whether Mylan might have inserted potentially anticompetitive terms into the contracts it signed with school systems throughout New York state, according to the NY Attorney General.Roughly 65,000 schools across the United States are believed to have contracts with Mylan.
Heather Bresch, chief executive officer of drugmaker Mylan Inc.On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that his office is investigating Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc, the maker of EpiPen, for potentially using anticompetitive terms in contracts it had with many school systems.Those terms allowed schools to receive Mylan s EpiPens for free or at discounted prices—as long as they didn t buy any competitors' products for a year.The terms may have helped Mylan hike the price of the life-saving medical devices without facing stiff competition from similar epinephrine-injecting products, such as Adrenaclick.Since 2007, the year Mylan acquired EpiPen, the company has raised the price of the pens by more than 400 percent, pushing the list price above $600 and drawing sharp public and political criticism.No child s life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or healthcare provider cannot afford a simple, life-saving device because of a drug-maker s anti-competitive practices, Schneiderman said in a news release.
Seventy-five per cent of all smartphones and tablets sold worldwide in 2015 ran a version of Android.That's more than 1.3 billion devices shipped - a number that doesn't include the watches, TVs and cars that now rely on Google's operating system.In April, the European Commission said it was investigating Google for alleged anti-competitive behaviour, a charge that could land the firm with a multi-billion-dollar fine and, perhaps more crucially, force it to make wholesale changes to the way Android operates.It is a description that Hiroshi Lockheimer, Android's senior vice president, says he finds hard to recognise."It's not a control-by-Google thing," says Lockheimer, who also leads Google's Chrome OS and Play teams."No one ever told me: 'Please develop an operating system that somehow helps Google' or 'Please develop an OS that encourages search'.
Above: A Google search page is seen through a magnifying glass in this photo illustration taken in Berlin, August 11, 2015.Reuters – EU antitrust regulators plan to order Alphabet s Google to stop paying financial incentives to smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search exclusively on their devices and warned the company of a large fine, an EU document showed.The document, running to more than 150 pages, was sent to complainants last week for feedback.The EU competition enforcer in its charge sheet, known as a statement of objections, said it planned to tell the U.S. technology giant to halt payments or discounts to mobile phone manufacturers in return for pre-installing Google s Play Store with Google Search.The regulators also want to prevent Google from forcing smartphone makers to pre-install its proprietary apps if this restricts their ability to use competing operating systems based on Android.Google cannot punish or threaten companies for not complying with its conditions, according to the document seen by Reuters.
Google s problems in Europe is about to reach a new level as the European Commission is close to giving the US tech giant an ultimatum over anti-competitive business practices.This time, it is Android that is on the hot seat, with EU s antitrust regulators telling Google to stop paying or discounting OEMs to pre-install its Google Play Store and services on Android devices.Depending on how the events turn, Google could end up paying a hefty fine based on profits extending as far back as 2011.The complaint, filed with the Commission back in 2013, alleges that Google is using illegal business practices in order to ensure its dominance in the search market via Android.In particular, it was said to be offering OEMs discounts, or even up front money, to ship devices with Google Play Services and apps, which includes having Google Search by default.Google naturally denied the anti-competitive nature of its dealings with Android OEMs and that the Android platform is open enough for manufacturers and software vendors to use whatever default apps or services they prefer.
EU is considering fining Google for anti-competitive practices, due to the company requiring smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Android OSTo continue providing news and award winning journalism, we rely on advertising revenue.To continue reading, please turn off your ad blocker or whitelist us.Google might face a "large fine" for anti-competitive practices by the European Union, which is considering stopping the company from paying smartphone manufacturers to pre-install its Search service on their devices.The Commission launched an investigation after it received a complaint from FairSearch – a group of businesses that wants to enforce laws to prevent anticompetitive behaviour affecting consumers – in 2013.Admarketplace.com, Allegro, BusCapé, CEPIC, Expedia, Foundem, Nokia, Oracle, Trip Advisor and Twenga are the members of the group.
According to a 150 page complaint, the European Union s antitrust regulators intend to order Google to stop paying financial incentives to device manufacturers in exchange for installing Google Search exclusively on their devices.In the complaint, the European Commission accuses Google of using its dominant position in the smartphone market to shut out rivals.It also states that intends to force Mountain View from offering discounts or payments to manufacturers in return for pre-installing the Google Play Store with Google Search.The Commission also intends to prevent Google from forcing device manufacturers from bundling its proprietary apps if this prevents them from using competing Android-based operating systems, like CyanogenOS.The investigation into Google s business practices was prompted by a complaint by FairSearch.This is a group of organizations anxious about Google s overwhelming dominance in online search, and includes companies like Nokia, Oracle, Expedia, and TripAdvisor.
EU regulators want Google to stop forcing Android hardware makers to install its search and softwareEU antitrust regulators are reportedly planning to order Google to stop paying Android handset makers to install Google search and software on their devices, and are warning the search giant of a large fine, according to unreleased government documents.The European Commission said in an official complaint, called a statement of objections, that it wants Google to stop payments and discounts to manufacturers in exchange for pre-installing Google Play Store with Google Search, according to a report by Reuters on Saturday.The Commission also reportedly wants Google to stop forcing manufacturers to pre-install proprietary Google applications if this restricts their ability to use competing Android-based operating systems.Google cannot punish or threaten companies who don t follow its rules, the document said.The company could face a large fine because the anti-competitive practices are still ongoing, according to the complaint.
Officially, Pallante has been appointed as a senior adviser for digital strategy for the Library of Congress, although it s clear she was asked to step down, Billboard s Robert Levine notes.Just last month, as Hayden started the post, the Google-funded group Public Knowledge attacked the Copyright Office for upholding the copyright laws.Pallante was the only one standing between Google and what is left of the copyright system, wrote David Lowery on the Trichordist blog, which campaigns for better deals for songwriters and musicians.Controversial decisions by the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission have all resulted in proposals or decisions that advanced the business interests of Silicon Valley s biggest companies.The FCC, run by former industry lobbyist and major Obama fundraiser Tom Wheeler, has introduced a flood of measures that benefit huge web companies and constrain telcos, the most significant of which is Title II reclassification, which gives the bureaucrats wide-ranging authority over internet practices and private contracts.The legal duty of the Register is to uphold a functioning rights marketplace, something Silicon Valley isn t keen to see, as the windfall profits of today s giant web companies come from aggregation rather than trade.
Search engine officially rejects European Union antitrust charges which could lead to huge penaltyGoogle has, after careful consideration, officially rejected the antitrust charges filed against it by the European Commission.Google s rejection of the charge of anti-competitive behaviour regarding the accusations of promoting its shopping service and hindering its rivals in online search advertising could pave the way for a showdown between the two.Google could face a fine of as much as $7 billion £5.6bn over the alleged charges or 10 percent of its global revenue.The EC investigation dates back to November 2010 after complaints by rivals including Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Nokia and Expedia.Google of course dominates the search engine market in Europe, and although it is not illegal to hold a monopoly, it is forbidden to abuse it.