EU, US competition regulators to meet Monday as Google probes continue

Both the U.S. and the E.U. are probing Google for unfairly penalizing rivals

The chief European and U.S. antitrust regulators will meet on Monday in Brussels, and the probes both have into Google's market domination is likely to be high on their agenda.

Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, will meet with Joaquín Almunia, European Commissioner for Competition, to discuss competition policy matters, according to a European Commission official.

Last November the Commission launched a full investigation to determine whether Google unfairly penalizes rivals. The probe came after Google was accused in 2010 of using its search engine to promote its products and reduce the visibility of competing services. The complaint was lodged by U.K. search engine Foundem and French search engine eJustice.fr, later followed by 14 others including Microsoft-owned price comparison site Ciao.

In October, Google proposed settling the European antitrust case by labelling search results returned from its maps, stock quotes or other in-house services. But many of the company's rivals said that was not sufficient to let Google off the antitrust hook.

Because the investigation into Google is still ongoing, the Commission said it could not comment on the matter.

The FTC began investigating Google for antitrust violations in its search and advertising businesses in mid-2011. The agency reportedly has looked into Google's relationship with Android handset makers and whether Google favors its own services in search results.

In December, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, asked the FTC to look into whether Google listed its products and services first in search results.

Google competitors, including Microsoft, Oracle and other members of the FairSearch.org coalition, have accused Google of search "discrimination" by manipulating search results. Google has also used its dominance to force competitors out of the search marketplace, the group has said.

The FTC did not respond to a request for comment.

Google has said little on both antitrust probes. Asked about the upcoming discussions between the FTC and the European Commission a Google spokesman said: "We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and European Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have."

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags antitrustGoogleregulationlegalgovernment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers and Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?