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back to article Rivals to Brussels: Google labelling its own stuff won't help us

A Microsoft-backed lobby group that is fighting Google's alleged dominance of the search market in Europe has claimed that any concession by Brussels competition officials that involves labelling could do more harm than good for the ad giant's rivals. ICOMP's legal counsel David Wood argued today that Google's proposed remedy …

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Holmes

Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

I suppose it's easier to pay for opinion than actually build a bloody good competing search engine (and all its commensurate advantages) after all...

Whodathunkit

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Facepalm

Re: Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

The image explains it all. And this helps too

Wood, speaking from Brussels to reporters this morning, said that labelling "could lead to more people going to Google sites, rather than less.

It's suddenly even more anti-competitive because consumers will consciously choose to use googles products, rather than have a choice of 'could be google, could be MS"? Does this guy even hear himself speak?

And considering the number of search engines microsoft is PAYING to switch their backend to bing, who are then losing customers to google services, that's anti-competative because they made the conscious decision to go for a better system, which they don't know is google?

I really can't believe that the EU is taking any of this BS seriously.

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Re: Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

A lot of the EU stuff is 'being seen to be doing something' I don't think half the politicans/etc take any of it very seriously when competitor A stamps their little feet about Company B.

Speaks volumes though, about their opinion of their own brand vs Google's, that they think pointing out something's a Google thingummajig will create more customers for Google and less for them.

Absolutely.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

Actually it's got FA to do with Bing and other search engines, but let's not that get in the way of the anti MS ranting (look who backed the anti-trusts against MS, pots and kettles and all that) , it about how Google ranks it's own products on it own search engine.

And I totally see how this "brading" could make it worse.

take this.

Search for, I don't know, Cloud Storage. (granted little extreme)

1st result:

GOOGLE > GOOGLE Cloud Storage 10gb FREE, 50GB £1 per week by GOOGLE

Supplied By GOOGLE.

THIS IS A GOOGLE PRODUCT.

AD BY GOOGLE

RESULT BOUGHT TO YOU BY GOOGLE

GOOGLE - DO NO EVIL

Other results from GOOGLE

2nd Dave's storage 20gb free, 100gb £1 per week.

3rd Amazon storage 50gb free, 500gb £1 per week.

What do you think 99% of people will go for?

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Re: Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

... What do you think 99% of people will go for? ...

Well I'll go for the one that gives me the best service and which does not have its servers located in the USA.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

Yes but if you KNOW that then you can avoid it by simply using Bing... or are you saying that Bing is such a pile of shite that its not worth using?

No-one is forcing you to use Google are they....

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Re: Awww Poor Old Micwosawft

Lets see the Google tax-avoiding thieves pay Mozilla $300 million a year to keep Google as the default search engine. Its not such that Google are particularly good at search in fact they happen to be as useless as all the rest. The issue is that it is the default and most people change the default browser search engine as often as they change Utility suppliers.

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Holmes

Gimme a part of that cake! Egalitarianism demands it!

"While many of the antitrust complaints against Google that are currently being examined by the Commission’s DG Competition relate to Google’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in various markets (under Article 102 TFEU), ICOMP’s complaint focuses on the unlawful means by which Google achieved dominance in the first place. The ICOMP complaint points to Google’s broad-ranging and illegal network of agreements with partners from across the IT sector, and explains that Google has reached its current size through anticompetitive practices, rather than because of any inherent technological superiority over its rivals."

Oh really? Oh well.

"Google partnered with computer manufacturers to ensure that every new computer they manufactured would have a search-enabled Google toolbar exclusively pre-installed. It agreed with web-browsers that Google would be the exclusive default search engine offered to their subscribers. Google paid computer manufacturers to make it the exclusive default search engine for Internet Explorer. It also agreed with major software providers that the Google toolbar would be bundled into their most popular consumer software products."

Wait, what? I must have been asleep on this one. Any examples? Additionally, there are lots and lots of weasel words and citations needed in there.

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WTF?

Re: Gimme a part of that cake! Egalitarianism demands it!

WTF? Not Microsoft and MSIE then...

* Pinches arm *

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Branded by Google...

Much as I hate to admit it, this could actually be a reasonable agreement. As long as Google make it obvious which results point to them (and they allow at least half the first page to non-Google results) then I don't see that anyone can complain they are not being fair.

A little careful wording along the lines of defining results by both number of and display usage so they can't shoehorn the non-Google into an irrelevant area in one corner and most importantly, keep it short and sweet. The more words you use to make the agreement, the easier it is to find a loophole.

If Microsoft don't like the idea then, as the commenters above mentioned, that suggests it is a good one.

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This isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about Microsoft vs Google.

Microsoft was punished for its monopoly abuse (not nearly enough IMHO) but just because the complainants in this case are backed by Microsoft doesn't mean their case is without merit.

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Correct. But being backed by MS is a large part of why it's survived this long despite being without merit.

The other part is the EU takes a different attitude to monopoly and anticompetitive behaviour. The US only cares how you establish and maintain an abusive market position, do it legally and they don't interfere. The EU also looks at the effects on the market when deciding whether to act - you don't have to do anything wrong to attract some regulation.

What we have is a situation where the only changes likely to have any effect are most likely to hurt customers, not help them, because the complainants really don't want to compete fairly. They already tried and failed at that.

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Build it and they will come

I used to use Yahoo! to search the web. It did a reasonable job and experience told me it was the best of the available search engines. Then along came Google and within a month or so of discovering it I was using it almost exclusively. Because it was better.

Google didn't need to go to some competition regulator to get the playing field levelled (sorry, I mean tilted in its direction). Google just produced a better search engine. Maybe Microsoft could learn something from Google: Produce a better product and people will use it.

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Re: Build it and they will come

Frankly, it would also help if that competitor wasn't run by Microsoft. They aren't exactly famed for being trustworthy.

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Big Brother

Re: Build it and they will come

Upvoted: I was the same ... I started with Altavista (work related), moved to Yahoo! as its UK index was better for my searches (holiday related), and then Google appeared, better all round. As to its use of my data to produce targeted ads, it's not very good at it! Big Brother: asleep on the job.

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Meh

Translation

We haven't a clue how you got so popular, so you must be doing something bad (we would if we had the chance).

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Did it?

I thought that back in 1998 or so too. It was only an impression, I never actually tested it out. It was cool back then to point people at this new search engine. And we all said it provided better results, but maybe that was because we'd read it somewhere, and as we now know Google pay a lot of people a lot of money to talk them up. I still recall having to wade into page 50 or so to find relevant stuff, and maybe it would have been on page 55 on Yahoo, or page 45 on Jeeves. I don't know, because I never tried, because Google provided better search results.

Then around 2005 or so I found that it was just another search engine, it didn't provide anything greatly more relevant than any of the other search engines. Except that it was now more likely to have searched through your gmail archives and browser history to select stuff you liked. Which if you think about it for a minute is pretty crap, unless you want your internet to be an echo chamber. Turn all that targeted stuff off and its no better than anything else.

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Re: Did it?

Google's "secret sauce" was their patent or trade-secret PageRank algorithm (I forget which, maybe both). It really did sort out useful and informative web pages from junk - at least until people in the junk business applied themselves to tricking the system in certain use cases, such as shopping for batteries and looking for reviews. And you do have to meet it halfway, if the first 100 search results don't give you the information that you need (and you are confident that it's out there somewhere, which is not really Google's responsibility), then add or subtract some keywords to steer closer to what you want.

"next week's lottery numbers": about 57,900 results. So I need to buy 57,900 tickets, I guess.

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FAIL

This whole investigation is laughable. Nobody's being forced to use Google, and unlike Windows and IE which are foisted upon anyone who buys an OEM PC. Simply being the better product isn't justification for anticompetitive sanctions, especially not when it's being lobbied for by Microsoft, the biggest anticompetitive company to ever exist! The EU should be investigating Microsoft's continued bundling and intertwining of IE to Windoze. Now that's anticompetitive.

Oh, and if the ICOMP name sounds familiar, take a look here:

http://www.bigboardnews.com/2012/03/04/microsoft-pays-big-money-smear-google-european-parliament/

The original article at falkvinge.net seems to be down.

It's a familiar name because ICOMP has been bad mouthing Google (at the behest of its corporate master Microsoft) for a long time, trying to initiate antitrust sanctions. Clearly Microsoft can't compete fairly so it runs to governments for help. Of course no one would take Microsoft seriously if it cried antitrust, so it uses proxies to do its dirty work for it. Unfortunately, the EU has fallen for this conspicuous ploy.

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How is this still being looked in to?

Why is it a problem for Google to rank their own services highly? Following this case, the EU will presumably look in to claims from Aviva that in Tesco's supermarkets, they promote Tesco Insurance.

From a quick on check on Bing, searching for maps, videos, or email brings up Google services in Microsoft's own results. If another companies search engine ranks Google's services highly, why would Google's be any different?

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WTF?

If you don't like Google, don't bloody use it ... and it's free, even

The EU should tell Bing and company to take a running jump. All they are doing is wasting EU taxpayer money.

I have no problem with Google promoting Google, just as MS promotes that useless shadow of an 'equivalent' Bing or Yahoo or whatever. Google should start taking longer to respond to MS take down notices - another 'service' that Google provides at zero cost to MS.

The one big thing that annoys me with Google is their stealing my positional data from my Note 2. But I've fixed that by using a TP-Link Portable 3G Wireless N Router (that's not associated with me) and disabling the GPS output. I don't have a SIM in my Note 2 - I live in the land of free WiFi.

The other thing is the way Plod can get data out of Google, but that can be minimised, too.

No one is forcing Google on complainers, and they don't even charge for most services. Even dedicated Phanbois like Google maps.

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Facepalm

You can still be tracked

They can use trilateration from the towers; and with WiFi on, they can even track you indoors. Also, unless you use a clean computer and browse in private mode, the router became associated with you.

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Anonymous Coward

How refreshing...

MS complains that another company is abusing its dominant position. Haaaaa.... Again please. :)

Now if MS wasn't abusively dominant, its office suite would have reduced its market share by 99% when it introduced the ribbon, and few PC manufacturers would have taken the risk to display fat primary-color squares on the screen of their PCs.

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