Google Inc (GOOG): Will This Bluster Finally Mean Anything At All?

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been involved in quite the staring contest with the European Union over a variety of issues, the most noteworthy being two – its anti-competitive approach to search results, and its violation of individual privacy with its various services in Europe. Privacy is a hug concern in many places around the world, and there is another example of it outside the European Union’s borders. But with the EU competition commissioner continuing to go before microphones to give the latest information and threats, is the case against Google Inc become more the boy who cried wolf, or will the EU finally step up after more than three years and come to some resolution in its current anti-trust investigation?

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), our health is none of your business

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has made quite a living for itself using its advertising platform with advertisers, which has allowed those partners to very specifically target their advertising toward certain consumers, creating high click-through rates and strong returns on investment for the advertisers and ultimately for Google Inc. However, as Google Inc collects information about consumers through their web behaviors (including scanning emails and tracking web-browsing histories), it also can collect information about an individual’s health. At least, that is one man in Canada is alleging, and it has drawn the attention of that country’s privacy commissioner.

The man had been browsing the web about remedies for sleep apnea, and then noticed that he was starting to see ads for sleep apnea devices and remedies. He filed a complaint to interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier, who spoke out this week saying that putting out these “behavioral ads” violates Canada law about health privacy.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), for its part, says that it will upgrade its system by June 2014 to ensure better compliance, but says that while some advertisers in its ad network know the policy, they tend to violate it on their own.

For now, the privacy commissioner seems satisfied. We do not know if Bernier has any plans to audit the company in June to ensure the changes are made. We don’t know if Canada has a trust-but-verify policy.

A mighty wind is blowing …

… but Google inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not paying much attention. Yes, the European Union’s competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia – who is known for getting before microphones and talk about nothing – is back in the press again, talking mor threats against Google Inc about its anti-competitive search engine, which Eu regulators claim favors Google properties and parners in results rather than listing strictly on relevance to search terms.

In the latest press conference, Almunia said that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) must provide a new set of proposals in hopes of settling the antitrust case against it by spring, or he said the European Commission would go the “traditional route” and institute what could be a lengthy, drawn-out antitrust procedure. Already investigating Google since late 2010, the “traditional” route of antitrust in Europe (rather than the current settlement process as the EU has been doing with Google Inc all along), could take several more years, but if Google Inc is found to have violated antitrust regulations, the fines could be in the billions of dollars.

After three years, the “traditional” procedure could take years? Why do we get a feeling that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will call its bluff?

 

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

10 Glaring Plot Holes in The Walking Dead that a Zombie-Filled Bus Could Drive Through

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Stoners Who Love Their Reefer

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

6 Ways to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

4 Business Strategies that Turned Jamie Oliver into the World’s Richest Chef

6 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player

10 High Paying Seasonal Jobs in America this Holiday Season

The 10 Busiest Shipping Lanes in the World

5 Most Valuable Brands in China

The 10 States with Highest Substance Abuse Rates Crippling Their Populace

The Top 10 Things to Do Before You Die That Will Echo for Eternity

The 10 Best Selling Items on Etsy

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo, the Greatest City in the World

10 Mistakes on Social Media that Can Harm You and Will Probably Get You Canned

The 10 Best Cities to Find Jobs in 2014

The 10 Most Controversial Songs Of All Time to Hit (and get Banned from) the Airwaves

The 20 Biggest IPOs in US History

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Mexico that Are Beautiful and Safe

7 Bad Habits that Age You Beyond Your Years

The 40 Best Fortune Cookie Sayings That Will Leave You Bemused, Befuddled, or Beguiled

10 Foods to Eat Before a Workout to Make Every Drop of Sweat Count

The 5 Best Documentaries On Netflix You Must See

The Most Heartwarming and Inspirational Story Of This Halloween Season, It Will Make You Cry and Jump For Joy

10 Best Party Songs of All Time to Bring the House Down With

5 New World Order Conspiracy Theories that Will Strangle the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!