Google Antitrust Issues: For more than three years, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been dealing with European inquiries pertaining to its business practices. In short, everybody, including other companies, wants to make sure that smaller rivals have the ability to compete on a level playing field.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is one of the hedge fund industry’s most popular stock picks, but it’s been displaced by a financial stock recently (see which one here).
Most recently, as reported by The New York Times, 11 web companies went a letter to Europe’s top antitrust official, asking for him to help force the search engine giant to make changes.
Here is a brief excerpt explaining what the letter was all about:
“The letter, organized by one of the original complainants in the case, a British online shopping service called Foundem, asked the European competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, to take a hard line in ongoing negotiations with Google to produce “effective and future-proof” concessions that will protect small European competitors.”
It is no secret that the European competition commission has looked into Google’s practices in the past, including its “use of algorithmic standards to rank its own services ahead of those of some competitors.”
Here are a couple of direct quotes from the letter:
“We are becoming increasingly concerned that effective and future-proof remedies might not emerge through settlement discussions alone.”
“In addition to materially degrading the user experience and limiting consumer choice, Google’s search manipulation practices lay waste to entire classes of competitors in every sector where Google chooses to deploy them.”
It is important to note that the letter was signed by many well known companies, from both Europe and the United States, including but not limited to Streetmap EU, Hot Maps, Twenga, TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Right now, the investigation into Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) by the European competition commissioner will continue. It will be interesting to see if this letter leads to any immediate and lasting changes.
Check back here for more updates on Google Antitrust Issues.
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DISCLOSURE: I have no positions in any stock mentioned.
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