back to article Google antitrust suit: Is there a case?

Should Google be allowed to skew sponsored ads toward favored business partners? At face value, the answer would seem to be "Yes." In a free market, after all, businesses are allowed to partner with whomever they want, and advertising hardly seems to be the kind of industry susceptible to monopolistic profiteering. Of course, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Google's "Do No Evil" mantra has been nothing more than an evil subversive marketing ploy since the day they first wrote it down. Of course Google does evil and plenty of it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's hard to take an article like this seriously...

    ...when the writer feels the need to say, "Google shoves bids through.." rather than, "Google puts bids through..."

    Using loaded, emotional terms makes it look like you've got an axe to grind. Report on the situation itself, rather than giving us vive-la-revolution rhetoric, and I'll trust the source more.

  3. kain preacher

    @David Wiernicki

    David I guess they forget to send you the memo. There is no such thing as news any more. Its all entertainment .Who cares if they get it right. If it bleeds it leads. Using emotional loaded terms is great way to sell.

    Now to people like you and me it’s all BS, but it’s getting harder and harder to find some thing that pass as real news. Looking for a real reporter??? Hell the US will find Bin Laden first.

  4. Robert
    Thumb Down

    hot air

    Google sells advertising, not search results. Those are free, as are dozens of other services. Therefore, they are perfectly withing their rights to sell that advertising space to whomever they please. But people think they're too good to be true, and inevitably bash them every chance they get.

    What "evil" has Google done? I don't see it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ads...what ads?

    In about 8 years of using google as my main search engine I don't remember clicking once on google ads on any page, except a few sympathy clicks for websites I like with little intention of looking at the contents. Sites such as Kelkoo, Amazon, dabs, and eBay get 99% of my online buying.

    I guess Google must work on the spam principle. But really who are these people who click on them?!

  6. RW

    Alternate search engines

    I've largely switched to because they don't save your IP address (or so they say). Google is, in a way, the Jacqui Smith police state of the web: they want to know your every coming and going for purposes that have very lilttle merit, if any.

    And there's still good old Altavista which, because it uses different algorithms than Google does, may cough up exactly the web page you are looking for when Google doesn't.

  7. Walter Brown

    Its a funny world we live in...

    To me seeing articles like this sit right up there with the stories circulating a while back about the nut job Danny Carlton, the one complaining that using ad blocking software was taking food out of the mouths of honest web developers and their children. like AC above said, who exactly is seeing these ads? anyone with half a brain is using firefox + adblock plus + customize google and as a result are seeing exactly zero web adverts while using any google page or service, or any other web page for that matter.

    The amusing part of the whole Danny Carlton saga was the little redirect script he wrote to push adblock plus users away from his content, so clever he was, except for the fact that most people smart enough to use adblock plus are also using noscript, which blocked his little fuck you script at the source and failed to redirect the masses of firefox users like me when went to his site to what all the fuss was about. too funny...

  8. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Pretty weak...

    Pretty weak case, if any. There's no law against any company having a dominant position, and I think they can behave as they like, SO LONG AS they are not using the dominant position to block competitors from entering the market (or using the dominant position in one market to muscle into another market.) I haven't seen them doing a thing to prevent other advertisers from entering the market.

    They should not bar competitors from buying up ads, but I don't think they do. As for, well.. I think Burke is right, doesn't look great. But, in my opinion, sourcetool looks similar... both do ultimately go to some sort of B2B information and links, and both could use some sprucing up.

  9. Richard Kay
    IT Angle

    Evil sure. So why should we care ?

    For the last umpteen years the strictly limited attention I have been able to spend opposing evil monopolies has been directed against another evil empire, and not the one that employs open-source programmers.

    IBM was version 1. Journalists loved Microsoft Abuse of Monopoly 2.0 because it meant they could all use the same computing platform and they didn't have to learn much about computers in order to do so. It wasn't as if Microsoft was manipulating their industry. But it was and still does manipulate the industry of El Reg. readers.

    So in what sense does Google Abuse of Monopoly 3.0 adversely affect the interests of programmers and IT technologists ? In one sense the fact that something similar comes along to manipulate the interests of those who have some part to play in forming wider opinion about the undesirability of evil monopolies in general has to be welcome. The one way journalists might be able to broaden any kind of coalition here would be by campaigning for all evil monopolies alike to be made to release source code to algorithms giving unfair monopoly status under open-source licensing.

  10. Brian Whittle



    <Pretty weak case, if any. There's no law against any company having a dominant position>

    try telling that to Microsoft with regards to the EU

    There will be ramifications the bureaucrats (who have to justify their existence) will see to that.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So far so old hat

    This isn't especially new, and it's not especially news, either. With this particular lawsuit, the problem is likely to be that Google's algorithm IS so secret - they can pitch it as being to do with quality, and nobody presiding will be able to pick it apart.

    And as for AC claiming s/he never click on search ads, one just have to laugh. Of course you don't, dear - and those branding campaigns on TV and in the press have never had an effect on you either, have they?

  12. Maty

    You do understand

    what a 'quality landing page is'? It's Google's attempt to ensure that clicking an ad doesn't lead you to a page full of other ads and no product. This was called adsense arbitrage and was hurting adsense's business model.

    So the question is not whether meets some standard of aesthetics. It's whether it actually delivers what the advertisement promises. If you click on an ad for Caribbean holidays, a 'quality' page offers to sell you such a holiday. A low quality page might be visually stunning, and highly functional, but if it offers nothing but more ads for Caribbean holidays, it's 'low quality' and (rightly) has to pay more to attract viewers.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @Anonymous Coward (the imposter..;-)

    Branding campaigns on TV and in the press are ads are tiny pieces of text on the other side of the screen from where I look. So I not only don't click on them, I don't even notice them. But hey, I guess I've finally found someone who does use them!

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