EU Likely To Revise Google Antitrust Decision

Posted on 7/24/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Back in February European Union antitrust regulators reached a settlement with Google in an unfair competition investigation that had been going on since 2010.

The investigation has centered on whether Google abused its dominance in Internet search and advertising to favor its own products and services. The agreement negotiated by Joaquin Almunia, the EU competition chief, would require Google to give at least three major rivals more prominence in its promoted results, but otherwise found no wrongdoing on Google’s part and required no payment of a fine.

After a huge outcry from many quarters, including a formal antitrust complaint submitted in November 2013 by CEPIC, the Center of the Picture Industry in Europe, on behalf of thousands of photographers and picture agencies the EU regulators have now decided to revisit the proposed settlement.



A major concern for image providers is that Google diverts traffic from their sites to its own services. In addition, the search engine has turned itself into a provider of “free” content and fuels online piracy at its sole profit.

An unnamed source within the European Commission has indicated that some of the concerns of possible preferential treatment may be valid. The commission will also be looking into the auction mechanism that is designed to allow rivals to bid for better placement on the page.
 


It is expected that a final decision as to whether to revise the agreement, or not, will not be announced until November after Mr. Almunia has retired and his successor has taken office. Some of the companies that lodged complaints against Google have said they would prefer no deal to the one negotiated by Mr. Almunia.


Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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