Re: Unfair competition
"But in the long run I think, at least I hope, it is for the benefit of us, the consumers." - I doubt that.
I'm way too cynical to think common sense will step in for the benefit of customers.
Example. I deal with pounds, euros, and from time to time yen. It was useful to go to Google and type "123 jpy in eur" and when the search came back, there would be a little box below it that said what Google estimated the rate to be. Somebody complained. Now it just provides a bunch of links to other sites which invariably don't tell me until I've gone to the site, enabled scripting, and then entered my value again. Bloody palaver.
I want Google to do this sort of stuff. I want Google to provide its own services where appropriate. If I didn't want Google to do this, I'd use a different search provider. There are alternatives (but they're shit - seriously, compare Bing's maps sometime for starters...), the world doesn't begin with "G" and end with "e".
But no, rather than attempt to create something of equal value, it is far easier to whinge to the EU or anybody else who will listen because Google has the better product and that's a Bad Thing. Wah.
I fail to see how any outcome restricting Google from including their software will ultimately be better for the end user.