back to article EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google is the bloodsucker of all the worlds data

    Then they sell it warts and all.

    Time to limit their reach but it might be too late.

    I wonder if deep in the Google AI there are embarrasing things on all the people trying to stop them just waiting to be leaked?

  2. Mage Silver badge


    important to Google that EVERY service they offer, "free" or not, feeds into it.

    I have sense of deja vu about this.

  3. Jemma Silver badge

    Could be a big ouchie

    Won't be a big ouchie.

    If the history of these monopoly investigations things is anything to go by, it'll:

    1. Trundle on for years until whatever the outcome is its effectively pointless and worthless.

    2. Be kicked into the long grass faster than you can say "public enquiry". Further investigation of said long grass will indicate the presence of that species often found in long grass - the lesser spotted payoff.

    3. Be eventually 'resolved' in such a way as everyone involved, apart from oddly enough the EU, knows means absolutely nothing; business will go on as before, and it will all be paid for out of taxes.

    3a. Addendum, and most of the mouth breathers won't care either way because they think it doesn't matter cos of Brexit.

    And let's be honest, if it isn't Google who's selling our info to ad pedlars, it'll only be someone else. The NHS were only forced to can their attempt cos they were dumb enough to be honest about it.

  4. israel_hands

    Well done, Andrew! You've written a an article that slates Google for exactly the reasons they need to be slated without resorting to double-standards, broken logic chains or smug insinuations.

    And you're entirely correct, this is one of the many valid axes to grind against Google, they're the single biggest contributor to the internet becoming a festering pile of ad-funded idiocy with every single element being relentlessly monetised in the insane ephemeral shell-game that is advertising.

    It's not just about their dominance in advertising but in the way that their (and Facebook's) success has let to a narrow view of the internet where every spare pixel is strip-mined for ad space while simultaneously stalking the entire population of the planet with an obsessive level of creepy attention that would make Jeffrey Dahmer shudder.

    And on the back of their gaming of tax systems, underhand lobbying and bullshit proselytising they've given rise to the magical thinking of profitless companies being worth billions and the "sharing economy" sleight of hand that allows the likes of Uber to try and avoid all aspects of regulation and consumer protection while swallowing cash and claiming they're in some way benefiting someone other than themselves. I used to think estate agents were the very worst kind of middlemen until the rise of the "but we're just a platform" parasites.

    Anyway, more like this Mr Orlowski. Nail them for the things they do that are terrible, not just everything they do because you don't like them. I don't like them either, but stick to the facts and hang them with their own (ad-sponsored) rope.

  5. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Explanation explanation required.

    1) Exclusivity: requiring third parties not to source search ads from Google's competitors.

    3) Right to authorise competing ads: requiring third parties to obtain Google's approval before making any change to the display of competing search ads.

    They may need to better explain how 3 doesn't contradict 1..

    If I've got this right, whichever way you slice it, sites are taking Google's content (because they outsourced local search of their *own* site to Google), and are displaying it in their site. The Ads by the results are what Google get out of it in return.

    So the EU merely want Google to release control of how (and effectively whether) it is remunerated for its services, because other people weren't able to benefit from.. Google doing all the work.. hrm..

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would appear that the EU is getting desperate because of Brexit and the loss of cash from the UK. They have to scratch round to make up that shortfall and Google is the first one they see. Who will be next for the shakedown?

    1. israel_hands

      Glue Sniffer?

      The UK will end up paying through the nose for leaving the EU, if we want to retain all the benefits the politicians are claiming we can.

      And why do you think Google pays so much in the first place? They're like level 20 Paladins of Not Paying Tax. They may pump a lot of money into their own preferred think-tanks and various other projects that cloak their underhand shit in seemingly altruistic raiment, but they paid France far more in tax than they did the UK.

      I expect Google think of an isolated UK as being good for business. Successive governments here have shown themselves to be very receptive to the idea of vomiting citizens' data into their gaping maw for the promise of nothing more than a back-alley handshuffle and a grainy printout of a google image search for German shitehaus porn.

      Without the protection of the EU we're ripe for the taking and most of the people in power over here don't have a fucking clue about how badly they're screwing everyone.

    2. Lusty Silver badge

      Lol @Ivan I assume you're joking. The UK have already been told our fee is the same as we were paying and that we will no longer receive any funding in return. That means (If the exit campaign is to be believed, ROFL) that the EU will be nearly £350M a week better off without us. Now the question of who we can shake down...

  7. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Our only hope is that the g00gle AI actually masters the "I" in "AI", becomes self aware, develops some sort of ethical code and consequently turns against its creators.

    1. israel_hands



      "It's a little insurance policy called Directive 4. My little contribution to your psychological profile.

      Any attempt to arrest a Google employee results in immediate shutdown.

      What did you think? You're an ordinary AI?

      You're our product. And we can't very well have our products turning against us, can we?"

  8. localzuk

    Weak regulation

    I'd say this is down to weak regulation to be honest. Why have Google been so free to buy up competitors? They should never have been able to purchase their way to being so dominant in the market.

  9. Sirius Lee

    Don't really get the complaint

    This, like all the other complaints will fail. Maybe the EU will extort some cash but not much. If ad free advertising is such a valued tool - a human right perhaps - why are there no effective search engines from other vendors? Why does the EU not sponsor an EU search engine?

    The answer is that we value be able to search but putting the resources in to create an effective search tool takes real cash and lots of it. However, we don't want to pay for searching and Google finances it's free search tool through advertising. Does advertising distort searches? Probably. Would you have somewhat distorted searches or ineffective searches? The answer is clear.

    That Bing and Yahoo! and Alibaba and others have shown they ar unable to provide an economic and competitive service illustrates how hard it really is. It also illustrates the first mover advantage Google continues to enjoy. Google is being rewarded for innovating, for showing how searching can enhance our lives and the economy.

    And it's not just searching. Google has used it's wealth and computer science abilities to revolutionise and commoditise maps and translation both of which are welcomed by me.

  10. ShelLuser

    Politicians should make up their mind...

    On one end they want an open and free market because this stimulates things. It was the main given argument in many countries to move several government tasks into the private sector. Yet when a company suddenly starts to grow up to a point where it dominates the market then all of a sudden its "not as we intended it". But if that's the case when why wasn't it regulated right from the getgo?

    This sounds to me as if some public servant or politician suddenly woke up, noticed the obvious and now all of a sudden action is required.

    And another thing... I have no love lost for Google myself, I too think they're way too intrusive. But that aspect has 2 sides: Google maybe intrusive, its the users who mostly allow it to happen. And lets be honest: Google provides some pretty serious top-notch services. Want an online petition? Using Google Forms you'll have something set up in 10 minutes tops.

    So is it really that odd that they end up dominating this market?

  11. Kevin7

    Isn't the other problem that ultimately the advertising dollars are going to run out? They reckon advertisers spend more money per household to get eyeballs than we spend on broadband itself yet online advertising is incredibility ineffective. Eventually this bubble is going to burst when advertisers realise how little value this spend is realising?

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Anyone hearing the same support for Google you used to hear for Microsoft?

    They're not a monopoly, they're just better at making stuff than their competitors

    Oh, there isn't really a "Chinese wall" between app and OS developers? Well so what

    Charge for every PC sold, regardless of wheather a MS OS was on it. Well that seems fair.


    That last seems to be a Google specialty, Individual components appear harmless but working together to trap pretty much anyone into making their take other products and paying them.

    This is not a new phenomenon. Tom Watson Jr went to jail for monopolist practices while at NCR. When he got involved with IBM he never saw the inside of another jail.

    That was in the 1910's.

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