Responding to Googlespeak: Part 4

Myth 4: Competitors don’t want us to include our own services in search results. In characterizing the Commission’s SO, Google claims it is based on allegations by competitors that “Google’s practice of including our own specialized results…in search have significantly harmed their businesses” (emphasis added).   Fact 4: Competitors just want Google to let them … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Part 3

Myth 3: That there are other specialized online services proves we’ve done nothing wrong. Google claims that the continued existence of other comparison shopping services shows that the Commission’s “allegations of harm” are “wide of the mark.”   Fact 3: Google’s manipulation of search results harms consumers and competition. The Commission’s SO focuses on the … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Confronting Google’s Arguments

On April 15, the European Commission announced that it had issued a Statement of Objections (SO) to Google for illegally abusing its dominance in search, and that it was opening a separate investigation into abuses involving Android, Google’s mobile operating system. In response, Google issued two blog posts “strongly disagree[ing] with” the Commission and setting … read more

Questions Raised by Google’s Response to the Statement of Objections

By the time Commissioner Vestager had made her announcement this week that Google were to be issued a Statement of Objections, the company had released their response, strangely titled “A Search for Harm”, on their blog setting out their initial arguments against the Commission’s finding. They had already laid the groundwork to this response with … read more

Come on, Google, address the facts

This week, the European Commission announced a Statement of Objections (SO) against Google, confirming that Google is dominant in search and that is has illegally abused that dominance. Immediately prior to that announcement, Google sent an internal memo to its staff in which it attempted to explain away the Commission’s concerns. The memo was soon … read more

ICOMP Statement in response to leaked reports of Statement of Objections

If the FT report that Google is to be served with a Statement of Objections by the European Commission: “Europe to accuse Google of illegally abusing its dominance”, is accurate, then this is a very significant development. A Statement of Objections represents a formal finding by the Commission that Google is dominant and that its … read more

What a Statement of Objections would mean for Google

Over the past few days, the world’s media have reported on various rumours from Brussels’ that the European Commission (EC) will decide ‘very soon’ on its next steps in the antitrust case against Google. Significant and in-depth articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, on Charles Arthur’s widely respected blog The OverSpill … read more

UK citizens are deeply concerned about data protection, a new Big Brother Watch polling shows

The findings of recent polling, commissioned by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch and carried out by ComRes, clearly show that UK citizens harbour deep concerned about their privacy online. The polling also demonstrates that data regulation is not perceived as being strong enough to ensure Google complies with data protection laws. This is especially … read more

FTC Revelations about the Google Case

Most observers have long found the outcome of the FTC’s investigation into the Google case perplexing and disappointing, particularly given early signs that it was being pursued vigorously. Recent revelations shed more light on how and why the FTC got it so wrong. In early 2013, despite a clear recommendation to the contrary by FTC Staff, the … read more

Can the egg be unscrambled?

Google’s cleverly constructed undertaking actually hides the fact that the largely cosmetic changes only apply to Google’s stated policy, not to the real practices that apply to its multitude of services.  Those practices will continue to foray into the privacy of its users.  That would not be a problem if users had genuine alternatives.  They … read more