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Business Briefing

With Canada Joining In, Google's Antitrust Troubles Pile Up

With Canada Joining In, Google
December 16, 2013 1:47PM

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Canada's Competition Bureau first launched a preliminary investigation into whether Google was abusing its position as the dominant search engine, according to a report Friday in the U.K.'s Financial Times. The bureau found enough evidence that it now is proceeding with a formal investigation of Google's allegedly anti-competitive actions.

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As the European Union marches forward with its Google antitrust investigation, Canada also is stepping up to accuse Google of participating in anti-competitive acts. Both of these investigations have started amid accusations that Google exploits its market dominance, particularly in the search engine industry.

New reports suggest that the Canadian government has been interested in investigating Google since earlier this year, and it is doing so for nearly the same reason as the European Union. Both governments suspect Google has altered search results in order to unfairly rank its own services higher than those from its competitors.

It's Not Over

Only a short time ago, Google believed it was going to be able to put the EU case to rest after proposing a new set of resolutions to fix its anti-competitive behavior. However, outrage from the search giant's competitors and antitrust organizations has reportedly forced the EU to dedicate more resources to investigating Google's business strategies.

The proposal put forth by Google would have had the search giant change its service in a way that would allow its competitors to attain as much exposure as they technically deserve. Unfortunately, as some journalists have already pointed out, this investigation began simply because of Google's search engine market share (90 percent in some countries.) However, there is nothing inherently wrong with controlling the market, and asking Google's competitors what they would like to have happen ensures that this case will not go away anytime soon.

Another Country

If reports are correct, the Canadian government is following in the EU's footsteps and will be investigating Google for the same anti-competitive reasons.

Canada's Competition Bureau first launched a preliminary investigation into whether Google was abusing its position as the dominant search engine, according to a report Friday in the U.K.'s Financial Times. The bureau found enough evidence that it now is proceeding with a formal investigation.

Even though Canada reportedly will work with Google to correct the problem, the bureau's preliminary findings suggest it will end up engaging in the same type of case as that under way in the European Union.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

DOJ-alternative:

Posted: 2013-12-17 @ 1:25pm PT
There are sure reasons to go "anti-trust" against Google (and Apple, and Facebook, etc), but its search engine results are not it. Top priorities IMHO would be Android devices, Chromebooks, Chromium OS and Chrome. What I would like to see is Google (and its partners) forced to
(a) stop tracking the users through the devices without explicit, informed opt-in by the user
(b) stop requiring user accounts to use the Android Market (for unpaid apps)
(c) give users an alternative choice of browser, app store, search provider, cloud storage (sounds familiar? remember Microsoft Windows / IE)

Dalimar:

Posted: 2013-12-16 @ 4:30pm PT
I don't understand all this anti-trust stuff. I know the competitors are out there; Bing, Yahoo, etc. but I always go to Google. Will that change? Not likely so why bother wasting my tax dollars pursuing something the general public could care less about? It is like the Microsoft case, did it actually change anything? No. IE died on it's own due to lack of features people want not due to anything the courts demanded.



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