Items tagged with antitrust

If Google had been hoping that the European Union would back off on its pursuit of proving that it's anti-competitive, it appears that the company hasn't been hoping hard enough. Today, the EU shot another set of charges at Google for anti-competitive practices, this time squarely targeting its AdSense for Search platform. Previous antitrust charges against Google have involved Android, search, and shopping, with this third set expanding on the latter two. Anyone who's ever browsed the internet will have likely passed by an AdSense advertisement, as they're simply everywhere. We reinforce Google... Read more...
As huge as Google is, it's sometimes easy to think of it as being invincible. The American company seemingly gets away with whatever it wants simply because it dominates its competition. But, the European Union has time and time again proven that Google is not invincible, and in fact, it could now be facing the EU's largest penalty to date. Where we stand today is with a mammoth price tag on Google's head. As it appears right now, this is not a fight Google is going to win (easily), and if it's found guilty, it's going to owe on a fine reaching at least €3 billion ($3.4 billion USD). If the... Read more...
When Google's Android OS began overtaking every other mobile OS in terms of marketshare, it seemed obvious that at some point, the company would be catching a bit of flak for it. In fact, it seemed inevitable that the EU would have something to say about it, as it's traditionally been strict amount companies that dominate a particular segment of the tech market. Look no further than Microsoft with Windows; the company now has to produce a special edition of the OS in order to appease the EU. Well, the EU does in fact have a beef with Google's dominance, especially where Android is concerned. Last... Read more...
Google is once again taking heat from the Federal Trade Commission, according to Bloomberg. The FTC is apparently in the very early stages of determining whether Google’s handling of its Android mobile phone operating system violated antitrust laws. With both Google and the FTC offering no official information about the possible investigation, it’s not clear yet how seriously the FTC is taking the matter. The heart of the problem this time appears to involve the services Google offers on Android. Some companies that provide related service appear to have complained that Android restricts them in... Read more...
It’s hardly been a secret that Google is the European Union’s doghouse, but now the hostility is official. The EU delivered Google with a Statement of Objections that accuses it of skewing search results towards the company’s own services. To top things off, the EU is looking into accusations that Android, Google’s smartphone operating system, also violates antitrust rules. “In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. “Google now... Read more...
Tensions between the European Union and Google never seem to subside, nor are they likely to anytime soon as the former reportedly prepares to issue antitrust charges against the latter as part of a five-year investigation. Early indications are that this could be the most high-profile antitrust case brought on by the EU since it spanked Microsoft with hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. According to The Wall Street Journal and its numerous unnamed sources, the European Commission is in the process of contacting... Read more...
Google has once again found itself in the sights of an anti-competitive watchdog, and this time, it's in Russia. For the first time since 2010, Russia's biggest search engine, Yandex, has dipped below 60% marketshare, and it blames Google's Android OS for causing it to happen. At last check, Yandex counts its marketshare as 59.7%, so it's not exactly well below the 60% mark, but it is a concerning trend for the company. On Android, Google is the search engine hard-coded into the OS itself; if someone wants to use a competing engine, they'd be required to open a browser and then go to their search... Read more...
Qualcomm managed to negotiate its way out of paying the full amount of what could have been a $1.6 billion fine in China over antitrust violations. Instead, China's National Development and Reform Commission imposed a record fine of $975 million, a figure Qualcomm agreed not to contest even though it's "disappointed" with how the investigation turned out. At the same time, Qualcomm said it's happy to have it done and over with. As part of the settlement, Qualcomm agreed to a number of terms and conditions mostly related to how it licenses technologies to companies in China. For example, Qualcomm... Read more...
Following a 14-month investigation into potential antitrust violations, Chinese regulators could fine U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm over 10 billion yuan, or $1.6 billion in U.S. currency. It would rank as China's largest antitrust penalty ever, though regulators and Qualcomm have been in discussions the past week and may reach a deal that would reduce the fine to $1 billion.According to Reuters, part of the deal includes Qualcomm taking a lower royalty rate on patents used in China -- it would reduce the amount by about a third of what it current takes. Qualcomm would also agree to change its licensing... Read more...
A case against Apple regarding antitrust violations for the company’s iPod restrictions has been going on for roughly a decade. However, the case was finally closed today when the jury unanimously voted to clear Apple of the charges.  Plaintiffs, representing a group of consumers who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, claimed that Apple had forced its users into iTunes software and locked out competitors. During that time period, the plaintiffs claimed that Apple had deleted songs from rival competitors and went on to use email correspondence from Steve Jobs to... Read more...
As Steve Jobs’ emails are being used against Apple in an antitrust lawsuit, the company is also being accused of deleting songs from consumers’ iPods that were purchased from rival music services between 2007 and 2009. During a court session at the U.S District Court in Oakland, California, Apple confirmed that it had deleted non-iTunes music but argued that it was a legitimate security measure. During this time period, consumers who tried to sync their iPods, which had non-iTunes music on it to their iTunes library, would receive an error message that would instruct them to restore their device... Read more...
Tensions are high between the Chinese government and Microsoft right now, with the former banning the latter's Windows 8 software for government use. Taking it a step further, China is said to be building its own operating system, which it hopes to have ready by October. On top of all that, China's been investigating Microsoft over antitrust allegations, and we've now learned that it's Microsoft's browser and media player bundling that are of issue. Citing what Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce told reporters during a briefing in Beijing this week, Reuters... Read more...
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued a warning to Microsoft not to interfere with its anti-trust investigation of the software maker. The warning comes after China made a series of surprise visits to several Microsoft offices in China, including ones in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. The SAIC announced it was formally investigating Microsoft last week over anti-trust concerns, and on Monday, Microsoft lawyer Deputy General Counsel Mary Snapp was at the regulator's offices being questioned, Reuters reports. "Microsoft promised to respect Chinese law and... Read more...
Google may have more money than it knows what to do with, but that doesn't mean it's willing to pay a potential $5 billion fine without putting up a fight. That's the upper amount the Mountain View company faces as European Union regulators continue their antitrust probe into how Google operates its search services. In an attempt to settle the nearly three-year-old case, Google issued a new set of concessions, which are currently being looked at, the European Commission confirmed on Monday. "We received new proposals from Google in the previous week," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia... Read more...
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