Victory on the main issue raised in the US anti-trust investigation of Google – the charge of search bias – is likely to remove any self-imposed limits the company has observed while under intense regulatory scrutiny over the past two years (Google’s own response, hinting at more aggressive competition to come, certainly suggested as much.)
Another consequence, noted by former FTC official David Balto: Any hopes that rivals had about riding on the back of regulatory action to bring their own private lawsuits have been dashed.
But in the area of patents, at least, the concession Google has made to end a US anti-trust investigation could have wider ramifications. Read more
There has been no shortage of calls recently for European regulators to drag Google’s controversial new data privacy policies into their anti-trust investigation of the company. But with settlement talks at an advanced stage, we hear this one isn’t going anywhere – at least, not in this round of Google v the EU. Read more
There was more bad news in France for Google on Wednesday as a Paris court decided that the internet company had abused its dominant position in online mapping tools.
The decision comes as we await the bigger decision by the European Commission over whether Google has behaved anti-competitively in the search market. Read more
Intel has come out fighting, after being slapped with a record €1.06bn fine by the EU for anti-competitive practices. Paul Otellini, chief executive, responded almost instantly with a statement that Intel planned to appeal.
“Intel takes strong exception to this decision,” he said. So the Brussels lawyers and the computer industry can now look forward to a protracted battle before there is any sort of finality to this.
The fine is certainly enormous, dwarfing even the sums Microsoft has had to pay. However, it’s not clear how much this ruling will really change. Read more