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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

European Commission Called Google Anticompetitive

A Microsoft-backed outfit has recently called on the EC to pay attention to Google when ruling on antitrust allegations.

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ICOMP, which stands for the Initiative for a Competitive Online Market Place, is a Microsoft-backed lobbying outfit willing to quash Google’s stranglehold on the Internet. It has recently published a paper that calls for the powers to force the search engine’s hand in creating a competitive market place.

The search giant Google has attracted the consternation of numerous organizations that accused the company of abusing its power. There have already been a number of antitrust cases in the United States, and now some European companies are taking aim at Google, considering it a power-hungry monopolist.

That’s why the European Commission is currently discussing what they should do with the naughty search giant. At the same time, ICOMP is planning to put this case forward for other industry members. The European Commission already seems to think that the search engine has been up to no good, accounting for 95% share in the search market. So, now it is deciding how to deal with Google’s dominance. The Initiative for a Competitive Online Market Place is going to convince the outfit that the world really needs some fundamental changes.

The complaint reads that the scale derived by this search engine from its dominance of search, advertising, and its exclusionary behavior and strategy, has caused a market situation where the other players have no chance to compete, which leaves no viable alternative to Google. The complaint goes on, saying that it isn’t enough for antitrust regulators just to stop the company’s existing anti-competitive practices like illegal exclusion arrangements or profit sharing agreements.

Microsoft, which is also involved in the complaint, claimed that the European Commission has enough powers to fine the search giant up to 10% of its global revenue over antitrust, but at the moment it is unclear whether the Initiative for a Competitive Online Market Place is pushing for this. But it is obviously lobbying for “structural and behavioral remedies” to treat so called “unlawfully obtained scale across Internet platforms.

The outfit is planning to knock the search engine off the top and make sure that the years of illegally obtained riches wouldn’t be used to cement its position. It also wants to make sure Google’s search results are neutral and prevent it from dumping the content from competitors.

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