Google’s Invisible Web

More than two years ago the Article 29 Working Party, on behalf of Data Protection Authorities across Europe, concluded that Google’s updated privacy policy breached European data protection laws on numerous grounds. Throughout the intervening two years, Google has continued to illegally combine users’ data. Yesterday the Dutch data protection authority became the latest European … read more

Google Still Refusing To Recognize Privacy Rights; ICO Intervenes

Earlier this week, the UK Court of Appeal heard yet another argument from Google as the company seeks to avoid liability for illegally accessing personal data by hacking the Apple Safari browser.  But the case took a new twist this week, as the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) — the body responsible for protecting the … read more

Getting a Grip on Europe’s Concerns about Google

There is a lot of confusion about what action the European Parliament and some European Member States are calling for with respect to Google’s anti-competitive behaviour in Europe.  Some clarity is called for, especially since some parties seem to be interested in stoking this up into a trade conflict. First, it is true that the … read more

ICOMP Statement on European Parliament’s Resolution

“Given Google’s dominance in search and search advertising, and its persistent discrimination against rivals in downstream markets (such as video, maps, comparison shopping, travel, local etc), it is unsurprising that critics are concerned by what economists describe as ‘vertical leveraging’.  Structural solutions are commonly considered in such cases and have been successfully imposed in a variety of … read more

Structural Remedies in the Google Case?

Where there is both an opportunity and incentive to abuse a dominant position, there are two options for competition authorities. First, they can take effective action to place limits on future behaviour (ie prohibition) coupled with deterrent measures (ie fines).  This mainly addresses ‘opportunity’, though if the fines are sufficiently greater than the potential profit, … read more

MEPs Take the Lead in Google Case

ICOMP warmly welcomes the interest the EP and in particular MEPs Tremosa and Schwab have shown in this case.  As we have always said, the case is about the fundamental interests of European consumers and the EP is rightly focussed on their interests and indeed the Union interest at large. There was overwhelming consensus that … read more

For whom was Google really built?

In recent blogposts and speeches, Eric Schmidt (Google’s Executive Chairman) has attempted to refute claims against his company about its prolonged and sustained anticompetitive practices. Google was built for users, not websites, he says. Adding insult to injury, he goes on to deny that Google promotes its own products and services to the detriment of … read more

Profiting from Free, One Year On

One year has passed since ICOMP published Profiting from free: the scourge of online piracy and how industry can help. The paper, written by the author and journalist Andrew Keen, provided a detailed look at how content is distributed, consumed, and monetised in today’s digital markets. It looked at the new business models being developed … read more

Geoffrey Manne’s Competition Anathema

Geoffrey Manne recently published a blog post defending Google’s abusive practices in the mobile space. The post is a mixture of mis-direction and inaccuracy that simply doesn’t hold up for anyone who scratches the surface. In the end, Manne’s post actually reveals why Google’s Android practices require in-depth investigation. Paid by Google As many of … read more