Feeds

back to article Will Google's rivals swallow the 'labelling remedy' pill?

Google will have a green light to offer "manipulated" search results and "to discriminate against competitors" if its preferred competition remedy is accepted by the EU, at least according to 39 national consumer bodies in Europe. We don't yet know the specifics of the terms Google offered (and that the European Commission will …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

"What bureaucrat, in their right mind, would want to do that?"

It certainly didn't seem to bother the bureaucrats on the other side of the pond…

3
0
Silver badge

Re: "What bureaucrat, in their right mind, would want to do that?"

"What bureaucrat, in their right mind, would want to do that?"

The ones who expect to be employed by Google either directly or as outside consultants and lobbyists once they leave the EU or government bureaucracy (as the case may be).

1
5
Silver badge
FAIL

Great.

Harrison Bergeron comes to the internet.

0
0
Bronze badge

Surely this would all depends on Google's stance, if they are to continue acting like their search engine is unbiased then they need to remove anything that shows bias such as the Google Maps integration. If on the other hand Google were to be honest in that Google Search is now a gateway to other Google products as well as a search engine then surely there'd be no issue if the put a disclaimer under the search box, ie

"For our customers' benefit Google will provide or prominently display services where it feels appropriate but we will still provide links to alternative services. By continuing with your search you agree to us providing you with these additional services"

5
1
Silver badge

Gateway to Google Products

Oh, like windows used to be to other microsoft products...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Can we all stop pretending

that this is brought by independent companies. It's not. It's Microsoft and their industry pals trying to get the EU to hurt Google so Microsoft can try and jump and and regain their old monopoly.

8
5
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Can we all stop pretending

It's Microsoft and their industry pals trying to get the EU to hurt Google so Microsoft can try and jump and and regain their old monopoly.

"The enemy of my enemy..."

1
1
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Can we all stop pretending

"...can probably be tricked into doing my dirty work for me."

3
0
Silver badge
Linux

Re: The enemy of my enemy

Microsoft can never be anyones friend... so that makes Google my data munching friend...

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can we all stop pretending

Which old monopoly? We're talking about search and web services where MS never had a monopoly.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Can we all stop pretending

.....is my enemy's enemy

2
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: "Can we all stop pretending.........it's Microsoft and their industry pals........"

Which part of the following did you have reading difficulties with?

"Google will have a green light to offer "manipulated" search results and "to discriminate against competitors" if its preferred competition remedy is accepted by the EU, at least according to 39 national consumer bodies in Europe."*

The fact that Redmond is complaining (bloody cheeky thought that is) does not automatically invalidate the complaint or, by implication, make the above-mentioned national bodies either MS stooges or their "industry pals".

*My added emphasis.

1
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: "Can we all stop pretending.........it's Microsoft and their industry pals........"

@Arctic fox

On the other side of the coin, the fact that those entities have been called "national", "consumer", or for that matter "bodies" does not in any way diminish the possibility that they are stooges for MS or their industry pals.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't trust any of the organizations mentioned or even alluded to in this piece to come up with a solution to this issue which is in any way motivated by concern for consumers.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Can we all stop pretending.........it's Microsoft and their industry pals........"

On the other foot, a fair portion of these companies have all taken google to court in other fields and failed miserably costing them a large sum of money.

Microsoft / Noka / Oracle have all lost massive battles against Google, or have been involved in massive battles that wound up in a draw. Either way they can easily be seen as bitter.

I mean lets face it, In what way is Google having a negative impact on oracle? The only clear relation I have seen with the two companies in the past is the fact that Google were sued by Oracle and won. Microsoft? Isn't it a similar deal here with ongoing court cases etc? And Nokia (aka microsofts bitch) once former phone giant now cowering in the corner because it backed the wrong horse.

What are the other members of fairsearch? From a quick look through the list, the majority are holiday comparison sites. Why does this matter? Because aside from expedia which I dont use because they seem to have the worst prices among sites I've tried, I've never heard of them. I mean heck so far as I'm aware google don't even do a hotel comparison do they? Sure you can search for "hotels in london" and you get a list of hotels, and the prices from that hotels site taking you straight to the hotel. This is what a search engine is for. Trivago et al are a closed off search which give you more details on a particular hotel, generally takinga cut leading to a higher price.

Lets face it, most of us who book hotels find the one we like on the price comparison site, and then go straight to the source anyway >.>

What else remains? Other comparison sites I've never heard of, a few shopping sites and an advertising company.

Again I state, google indexes the prices from the home sites, and displays them for you. These sites get business directly from google. The other comparison sites generally take a cut, google is just a search engine and indexer.

The advertising company? Does google lock you in? I dont' honestly think so, I think it's just a case of google is the most prolific ad company out there, and people go with what's hot, not a company who'll get them a click or two on a random site nobody cares about.

How about this, rather than crying that google does what they do, but better. Improve your site and put in some effort.

I mean for god sakes, there are hundereds of price comparison sites out there, google isn't yoru competition, they are. If you can't even get to the top 5 among your direct competition what's the point of complaining about google? Half the companies in fairsearch are the equivalent of a kid coming 7th in an 8 man race, and then complaining that it's all because the guy in 1st wouldn't let anyone pass them.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

enemy of my enemy ..

... but he is his own worst enemy ...

(c) Richard Herring

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Fairness in advertising

Absolutely, all advertising should be obviously fair to the competitors. So, for example, any TV ads for say, Ford cars would also show the ratings for competitive vehicles. Those for clothing would also give a mention to any similar, competing produscts from other clothing manufacturers.

Yes, fair competition is a wonderful thing. Perhaps the only way to level the field completely would be to ban all forms of advertising, so we just would not have to see advertising at all! Brilliant, an enormous benefit would be not having to suffer all those commercial-breaks on television. Without that revenue though the independent channels would need to find income from elsewhere and the obvious source is to follow "business model" of the BBC who grudgingly accepts the generous donations from the viewing public - even though they have been a commercial business for many years making billions from the publicly-funded material which they sell to other countries without having to pay any dividends to their backers as the film industry does.

2
6
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Fairness in advertising

No one forces you to own a TV. I don't have one, so no licence fee and no adverts = double win.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Fairness in advertising

Don't forget pointing out that the £70 shirt you could buy from John Lewis can be bought from Peacocks for £12. It's the exact same shirt from the exact same facotry, only a different label.

1
0

Re: Fairness in advertising

I figure it's more like telling sky that they're not allowed to promote their talk talk brand in preference to any other ISP. Or telling BT that it's not allowed to give preferential treatment to itself with regards to LLU prices.

That doesn't mean that they can't get preferential placements/pricing, but it does mean that they have to buy/negotiate for it the same way anyone else would.

0
0
Go

It's the fundamental job of a search engine to get the user to their information via the shortest route. Showing a map directly instead of showing a link to a map is exactly what all search engines should be doing. Stopping a search engine from doing so is a retrograde step from the user's perspective.

8
1
Silver badge

Maybe when it comes to stuff like weather / maps / other stuff they're crying about Google could give users the option to select which of each they want to see. I mean they already have google accounts right?

Set up account on google, "I want google maps, google weather, google price comparison and google adverts" or "I want bing maps, accuweather, compare the market and blinx adverts" or if you feel like steping back in time "I want streetmap."

Suddenly google isn't forcing users to use their products, and they aren't adding extra steps every search, and they aren't displaying an extra 3 maps because the EU told them to waste my screen space.

1
1

That a good solution, but all companies should be require to do it, not just Google.

0
0

Correction, The fundamental job of an internet search engine is to index websites and then to search the index for the information the user requested and display it to them. Enhancements on that are to a) rank in order of probable usefulness b) give the user an overview of what's behind each link, and c) to get the user to the information they want via the shortest route.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

I don't get why 'integrated' services in google are not treated the same way as IE was treated for microsoft, let the user choose...

If I search for a location, give me google maps as default, but have an option to select an alternative mapping product, it can't be that hard for google to implement that option as long as the responsibility is on the third party to provide a compatible web service to be integrated...

Same with all their services that are integrated but an alternative exists, ensure that I can select an alternative as default...

Maybe this won't work. but its no worse than the current situation...

Although aside from google insistance on being logged into everything when your logged into one service (I use their email, but would rather not have my searches associated with my email account, I use adwords, but that account totally separate from my email accounts... google need to realise people like some form of separation in their lives... not everything NEEDS to be integrated and logged...

7
1
Bronze badge
WTF?

"Although aside from google insistance on being logged into everything when your logged into one service (I use their email, but would rather not have my searches associated with my email account, I use adwords, but that account totally separate from my email accounts... google need to realise people like some form of separation in their lives... not everything NEEDS to be integrated and logged..."

Then create separate accounts for the things you want to keep separate. You are allowed to do that, it's not like Facebook or something.

0
0

This does seem to be the obvious solution. In much the same way Android permits you to select different providers for many components, search engines (or your browser?) could too. Google has been trying to promote the browser as the operating system for years now - this is a natural conclusion.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"...If I search for a location, give me google maps as default, but have an option to select an alternative "

But isn't this pretty much what happens already? I thought the complaints came about because the top results were Google's, not because there weren't alternatives. Besides, who then decides which alternative to show? I suppose you could rank it by popularity or something...

1
0
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

What could be the future:

Search for AAPL or GOOG. You get a small line under the chart linking to Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and MSN Money. Clicking on the chart does bring you to Google Finance, but that was not always the case; it used not to be a link at all. You could have this for maps: the map from Google maps would be followed by 3-4 links, each pointing to a different service. Depending on how much the EU insist, the map itself would link to Google Maps, or not be a link at all, so that users would be forced to choose one of the links.

Now that I think of it, this change in chart link/not a link might well be an experiment to see the difference in the way the traffic changes under these conditions.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

'BEUC called for an alternative remedy -

'an "even-handed" principle, in which Google "must hold all services including its own to exactly the same crawling indexing ranking display and penalty algorithms".'

I do believe that this was what I was talking about in the recent comments thread about Google Maps.

If you're going to offer your search results as if they're "fair and balanced", that should be the same for *all* results, not "all results except ours". Otherwise it should at the least be made clear that some results are being prioritised above others the way that they already do with ads and sponsored results and they should provide a link to alternative mapping services.

PS And this is *not* the same as expecting Tesco to advertise ASDA's products, see the previous comment thread for details.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: 'BEUC called for an alternative remedy -

Okay, but google do sell the top space on searches as premium adverts. What if google just create a super premium advert, a single ad that goes above those with a very jacked up price. Then they sell that space to themselves.

Others could buy the space, so it'd be a fair deal.

0
0

Re: 'BEUC called for an alternative remedy -

There's probably a way of dodging taxes in that arrangement somewhere. Buy the ads against shadygoogleshell.bvi Inc and watch the money disappear into a sunny Caribbean tax-haven.

0
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Google Maps is brought to you by Google

Problem solved.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

Store Brands

Why don't grocery stores have to include brands that compete with in store brand and give them key shelf locations?

It is because the grocery store owns the shelves & there are other grocery stores you can visit.

Grocery stores rent shelf space to vendors based on the amount of space an item takes up & its prominence on the shelf. An eye level shelf (to a woman) is far more expensive to place items on but store brands regularly 'reserve' the best places on the shelves in their own stores. Nobody is bitching at grocery stores...

Incidentally, this practice is why some items, like potato chips and bread cost so much (they take up so much space).

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.