back to article 'We've done nothing wrong' - Schmidt on Euro antitrust probe

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has declined to be drawn on possible incoming antitrust law infringement charges in Europe. The Register repeatedly asked Schmidt to explain if his company would indeed offer up "remedies" to Brussels officials currently probing Google's business practices, which some rivals have claimed favours the …

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Unaware

Schmidt said that he was "not aware of anything we've done wrong."

He further stated that he and his colleagues work hard to be unaware, and intend to do their utmost to remain unaware. He also stated his belief that nothing that benefits Google could be classified as "wrong", and has lawyers who will show any interested party that this is true.

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Re: Unaware

The statement to me seemed like classic Applebyism - Schmitt isn't aware of anything they're doing wrong because he hadn't asked if they were doing something wrong, and those that know purposely haven't told him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Unaware

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

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Ummmmm

I fail to see how Google is doing anything wrong, they chrge people to have their adverts on their sites and also to be a prefered search result.

That being the case of cource those appear at the top along with the most popular click throughs etc.

What would you expect to happen ? Search for a fridge when in London and get results from some small town in the Lake District ?

I go to Google knowing what I want and am able to locate it thanks, I don't want random results or those or other companies. If I want Bing results I will use Bing etc.

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Re: Ummmmm

There is more to the complains than just whose ads they show. There is also the alleged problem that they favour their own services over competing services. Such as searching for an address and the first thing you see is a Google maps link. I just tried searching for a local address and got a Google maps link and a bunch of property valuation sites - no other map providers listed. Or searching for a product and you get prices from what used to be called Froogle. This is the same idea that got Microsoft repeatedly slapped for deeply tying IE into their (at the time) market dominating OS.

If Google was to treat other services with the same favour as their own, I suspect there would be a lot less interest in this antitrust motion. But they don't. Their claim that their search results are purely organic is also provably organic male bovine faeces. They clearly prefer their own vertical search services to the competitors.

Is that anticompetitive? Probably. Is it illegal? That remains to be decided.

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Anonymous Coward

@Big_Ted Re: Ummmmm

"I fail..."

True.

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'We've done nothing wrong' -- Seems to be quite a popular sure-fire get-out-of-jail free pass these days.

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They're apparently still in the legal stage of "Do you know why I pulled you over?" "Uh, no, officer..."

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I wonder if it will progress to the "please get out of the car, sir", and possibly the "You have the right...." stages

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Alert

M&M Industries

What's good for Google is good for America!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: M&M Industries

Nice reference.

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Black Helicopters

Re: M&M Industries

Thank you, AC 16:24. I wonder if the people who gave it a thumbs-down missed the satire.

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Joke

Buttholed by El Reg...

I'm not the only one who misread that sub-header, am I?

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Even if they do favour their own results

Its their search engine. They can do what they want to be honest.

if people paid to use the search engine, then they could complain about biased results in the organic side of things, but someone putting adverts into Google itself is only paying for those adverts to appear somewhere and some time during the day.

Anyway, I cant see any big tents in Watford, only a load of guys knicking copper from Watford Junction Station and some smog. So I reckon its all crap

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JDX
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Re: Even if they do favour their own results

Gordon do yourself a favour and realise the legal system is based on rules (called laws) not an individual's personal view on what's OK.

>>Its their search engine. They can do what they want to be honest.

This is just a hugely ignorant statement. I can't use my car to run someone over and say "it's my car I can do what I want", I can't use my business' monopoly in one market to gain an advantage in another market with the same excuse.

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Monopolies

I tried to buy some tickets recently from a site where the webmaster had chosen to use Google Checkout.

I couldn't do it without opening a Google account! And naturally, that requires a verifiable email address and for you to agree to their "privacy policy".

PayPal and Nochex don't require people to open an account with them in order to use them to process financial transactions.

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Meh

Very interested in the thumbs down

I've no problem with being downvoted but I'd love to know why in this case. Why does Google insist on invading your privacy like this when it's explicitly making money from commission on the transactions anyway? The fees are similar to Nochex and PayPal as well, so it's hardly as if they need to subsidise them by their targeted ad system. If I've missed something here I would really like to know what. At the moment all I can conclude is that there are just people who down-vote anything that criticises Google, or anything I post (in which case I feel honoured to be stalked!)

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Re: Very interested in the thumbs down

"I've no problem with being downvoted but I'd love to know why in this case."

I've not down-voted you, although somewhat tempted in that I think your ire might be better directed at a web-master who decides that Google Checkout is the only way to process transactions. The sign-up requirement is a pain in the ass if you just want to make a purchase (although not really an issue if you already an account - quite a few people in the world do) but you'd hope that maybe the payment options were somewhat more extensive - perhaps you could ask them why ? They may have reasons they think important, or even be unaware of the imposition it causes - they may even be tempted to change if they realise it might cause them to upset or lose customers.

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This post has been deleted by its author

This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Very interested in the thumbs down

(Sorry - it's late and it's hot!) I know the organisation concerned and believe that this is a naive mistake, which, when pointed out to the webmaster, will likely be corrected the next time an online ticket sales page is required. I'll certainly be in touch with them about it and offer to help with Nochex (which I have experience using in very similar circumstances) or PayPal (which I also investigated but couldn't use for a non-technical reason). They are indeed quite likely not to realise the problems with Google Checkout.

The point still stands though - the invasion of privacy which is Google's modus operandi seems particularly blatant in this case.

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Anonymous Coward

'We've done nothing wrong'

- Schmidt on everything.

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Coat

Hold on a second...

Would it be surprising that google's own services appear on the top of their search functions even if the algorithms used to dictate the page rank were completely honest?

By which I mean: when people use google searches, aren't they more likely to use google services?

Here's my example that I'm guilty of. I'll put a street address into a google search, let it autocorrect it and immediately hit "maps" up at the top to view the address in google maps. I'm not actually clicking on the search result, though?

The thing here that's essentially an issue is that finding the answer to a query in google is almost always going to require less clicks/page loads/typing than using another search engine. The integration of their services is something that other sites genuinely can't battle against more than the pagerank stuff, I think...

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Facepalm

Why does Confused.com

not have at the top of their page a big link to Compare the Meerkat?

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Re: Why does Confused.com

Confused.com are not in the position of being a monopoly. So they don't have to. Google are. Anyway you've missed the point - this isn't about Google specifically advertising other people's search engines, it's about their search engine not only returning results concerning their own other products. As a search monopolist, they have a duty to show users non-google alternatives in their search results - such as maps - don't just show google maps, show Bing maps, multimap etc. Otherwise you are using your monopoly to stifle competition in online mapping. Understand now?

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