back to article MEP: Google's SECRET deal will cause crisis of trust for Europe

Google's secret backroom deal with the EU's competition chief can only worsen the crisis of trust in the European institutions, one MEP tells us. This week the Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia said he would advise the Commission to reject complaints made about Google's business practices, thus allowing the search giant …

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Anonymous Coward

This pretty much covers in a nutshell why Britain needs to GTFO of the EU.

Dumb fuckwits who think commercial companies should have their commercial operations approved by fuckwits who have never run a business for themselves, and their competitors.

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UK vs EU

And in what respect do you believe that the British government is any better?

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Anonymous Coward

Anybody who has spent any time at all dealing with european and Britisjh regulation knows that the EU is head and shoulders above the UK with directives focussed on what is important, flexibility on how to meet regulations that are well written and clear. British regulations, law are an utter nightmare. What is really really scarey is that the total EU bureauocracy is a tiny fraction of the british civil service. The extra people seems to mean we produce longer, far worse and often pointless counter productive legislation/regulation.

The EU is far from perfect. This case (I do not know enogh about it) may or may not be an example of that but it would be a catastrophy for the remaining British Industry to leave the EU. We would still be subject to EU regulation because no one will buy anythiung not CE marked but with no inflence on direction and typical bad overwhelming pointless UK regulation on top.

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Unhappy

Other countries seem to get better quality MEP's than the UK

Or is that just an apparent observation.

Other countries in Europe have given Europeans better data protection and privacy.

The UK gave Europe the Date Retention Directive.

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Meh

Re: Other countries seem to get better quality MEP's than the UK

Something something America, something something historical relationships, you know the drill.

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Meanwhile, 3 months in the future

Google appoints Joachin Almunia as a non executive director on a salary of $[obscene] for two days per month.

It's the EU way.

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Everything we need to know.

"When asked this week if he had met Schmidt two weeks ago in Davos, Almunia said he couldn't remember."

No more needs to be said because that tells us everything we need to know.

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Anonymous Coward

Quite the contrary

If anything, I feel more positively about the Europe after this deal than if they had listened one more time to Microsoft and the various second-rate websites that were complaining about not being on the first page of Google results…

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Anonymous Coward

Is anyone apart from a Microsoft backed consortium or Microsoft aided business complaining about this?

It's not as if the 'anonymous' complainants are saying an independent third party (who should remain anonymous until after the report is created) should look at the proposals. No, the 'rivals' with the vested interest in trying to get the worst deal for Google and the best deal for them (stuff the consumer) want to be judge and jury of the proposals.

If the police investigate a crime I don't get to review their verdict (say a caution) before they administer it. A prosecution lawyer doesn't get to hear the sentencing of a judge and tell them whether it is appropriate or not before he/she hands it down.

The parties get to put their cases forward and then the relevant body or appointed person can make his/her decision. The Microsoft consortiums had their say, I'm sure Joaquín Almunia took them under careful consideration before deciding whether he thought they were fair. Same as if you went to trading standards, the ASA or the ICO.

If there was corruption involved or suspected then they should ask for a judicial review otherwise they need to accept an independent person who has been tasked with the review to decide the outcome.

As long as that crappy F'dem website isn't allowed to spam the search links then the result must be a good one.

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Mushroom

This makes me think that nuclear weapons might be useful after all.

Nuke them all, the bloody assholes

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Hmmm

Google.

Almunia.

Exotic holiday.

New car.

Trustworthy?

Just a few random thoughts floating around!

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"How can I go back to my electorate and persuade them this is a functioning system?" Amelia Amersdotter, the Swedish MEP for the Pirate Party told The Register. "There's no trust in European institutions - nobody likes us."

Well, the first bit always was a hopeless task. The second bit, I don't think it was caused by the Google settlement, and when trust is already at the bottom, it can't go any lower. (This is not a challenge, BTW.)

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I am inclined to wonder exactly who would run a "formal marketing test", how it would be conducted, what standards would be used to judge "fairness". After all, nobody is compelled to use Google, and Google is not the dominant search engine because it was first in the market. Yahoo, for example, preceded it by three or four years and became an also-ran because more people chose freely to use Google than did Yahoo or other web portals. It is not clear how to construct a better market test than that.

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Anonymous Coward

just remember that one of the companies complaining was Microsoft..... which still refuses to have Office publish universal documents.... then was that browser option that never occurred...

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Anonymous Coward

Google's SECRET deal with EU ..

To address these concerns, Google offers for a period of 5 years to:

(i) - label promoted links to its own specialised search services so that users can distinguish them from natural web search results,

- clearly separate these promoted links from other web search results by clear graphical features (such as a frame), and

- display links to three rival specialised search services close to its own services, in a place that is clearly visible to users,

(ii) - offer all websites the option to opt-out from the use of all their content in Google's specialised search services, while ensuring that any opt-out does not unduly affect the ranking of those web sites in Google's general web search results,

- offer all specialised search web sites that focus on product search or local search the option to mark certain categories of information in such a way that such information is not indexed or used by Google,

- provide newspaper publishers with a mechanism allowing them to control on a web page per web page basis the display of their content in Google News,

(iii) no longer include in its agreements with publishers any written or unwritten obligations that would require them to source online search advertisements exclusively from Google, and

(iv) no longer impose obligations that would prevent advertisers from managing search advertising campaigns across competing advertising platforms.

These commitments would cover the European Economic Area (EEA).

The proposals also foresee that an independent Monitoring Trustee will advise the Commission in overseeing the proper implementation of the commitments. ref

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Anonymous Coward

Sold Out

Wonder if Almunia has a job vacancy waiting at Google for when he leaves the EU ?

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