back to article Google strikes deal with EU competition chief over abuse of search dominance claims

Google has secured a settlement deal with the competition wing of the European Commission over its alleged abuse of the EU's search market that will be legal-binding for five years. The ad giant has attempted to reach such an agreement several times, only to be knocked back by antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia. But today …


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  1. IanW

    By god he's had a flash of inspiration.

    "My mission is to protect competition to the benefit of consumers, not competitors."

    At long last. 10/10. Go to the top of the class (but why did it take you so long?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He said it before

      Can't find it any more, but I remember him saying that somewhere.

      But I guess he also wanted to get the best possible concessions out of Google…

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: By god he's had a flash of inspiration.

      >"My mission is to protect competition to the benefit of consumers, not competitors."

      The official role of some countries's monopoly commissions is to protect business/industry/GDP, it just depends how the rules were written

  2. saif

    Sudden change?

    "My mission is to protect competition to the benefit of consumers, not competitors. "

    Hang on a mo is that an oxymoron?...wasnt his goal supposed to benefit competitors, by eliminating "abusive monopolies".... But clever that he can protect competition, but not benefit competitors. I must be confused about what "anti-trust" means. Any way always glad when legal wranglings end...and that never happens.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sudden change?

      There's generally considered to be nothing "abusive" or "anti-trust" about crushing your competition as long as you do it within the rules. You do it too well then you can probably expect to be forcibly broken up into smaller companies in order to re-inject competition into the market but that's the nuclear option.

      The argument here is one side says Google are abusing their position, another side says they aren't. This "Aluminium" person now seems to have agreed that the position isn't abuse if the agreed changes are made.

      Since Microsoft wouldn't be happy within any solution that wasn't a header level redirect from google.* to, and all the other complainants wouldn't be happy until Microsoft told them to be it's obvious there was going to be a compromise.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sudden change?

        Aluminium - Ha!

        I almost choked on that one.

  3. graeme leggett

    But does this mean

    That google are effectively admitting that they were acting in an uncompetitive manner.

    Or will this fall into the same category as "settled out of court" with carefully worded statements to the press by both sides.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: But does this mean

      No Google simply said that their complete and utter wonderfulness combined with owning everyone else while not being evil - had unfortunately led to a situation where there was no viable competitor - it's not their fault.

      They didn't, unlike a certain other monopoly computer OS supplier, use their position to threaten to de-list anyone who didn't play by their rules. You can Google duckduckgo or bing on Google's site and the results show up like any other.

  4. Big_Ted

    Its simple to me

    If you don't like Google you do have a choice ie Bing, Yahoo, etc hey you can even Google search engines for an alternative.

    As a business that provides you with search results they are however basically the best and lets be honest when was the last time some told you to bing it (as in Hawaii 50) or even duck duck go it ?

    As to this, yes MS etc are pissed at the result, they were after all trying to get themselves to the top of every search.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its simple to me

      I've been told to "bing it" in the last week. The fact that I used to do it...

      I can't wait for someone to write a plugin that will allow me to use google instead of bing as the default search engine on microsoft's properties.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its simple to me

        Since I have an aversion to Google I usually just tell people to look it up online - or I give an appropriate venue if I know of one (I.E - IMDB for some movie questions).

        Similarly, most of my friends know that I don't much care for Google, so they'll say something like "Just google... just I don't know, Bing it or whatever it is you do"

        Not using Google is a hard choice to make, simply because it's nearly impossible to make the choice in practice. It's tentacles are almost everywhere. My browser blocks anything "google.*" which can occasionally conflict with news articles or the like, but even with this and other stuff blocked, I feel fairly sure I'm still not out of reach of Google. At least I'm making it a bit harder for them I reckon - and on that note, Anon!

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Its simple to me

          You cut off your digital dong to spite an algorithm? Wha?

          You fail during your rant to mention which alternatives you feel are more morally or ethically "proper" when compared to our advertising chocolate factory overlords. Google are haughty, arrogant fucksticks, it's true...but the alternatives are worse.

          At least Google mostly builds products and services I want, for a price I can afford and even periodically listens to me, the customer. (If you pay for Google Apps, you are the customer. Otherwise, you're the product.) Google stalk me, but they also try to keep me happy while they do it.

          Microsoft tells me what I'm going to pay them, puts a loaded gun against my head and says "nice business you have there, shame if something happened to it. Now about our ransom...." all the while never giving a bent fuck about my desires or requirements as a customer. With added doses of Metro, Ribbon bar, SPLA restrictions, 15% user-over-dev price hikes and VDI licensing to make you scream.

          Microsoft also stalk me, scan my e-mail and otherwise are creepy douchecanoes, but they don't even have the decency to use lube, let alone try to keep me happy while they're working me over.

          Then we look at Yahoo's antiquated bucket of customer-hostile fail or Oracle's wallet-seeking doom missiles and things start to get progressively darker from there.

          So Google sucks. I'm with you on that. But they suck the least out of the available candidates. It's like politics: you don't vote for who you like, you vote for the halfwit you think will do the least amount of harm. When it comes to my privacy, my pocketbook and the foundational principles of the open internet, at the moment that happens to be Google.

  5. Alan Denman

    No victory - most claims are just part of the negative marketing tactics.

    Microsoft's claims are mainly negative marketing, MS themselves are guilty of real monopoly abuse.

    Yet natural gravity also does means Google have a monopoly in results driven search.

    That is the problem and not abuse. Microsoft are simply feeling abused via Chromebooks, Android and Google search.

  6. Alan Denman


    People seem to be telling you to BingGoBing these days,

    Quack quack Bing.

  7. Sanctimonious Prick

    The Phrase

    I'm damn certain Google didn't start out to be the new 'hoover it' or 'xerox it,' for example. Google went viral - which has not slowed down. And it wasn't a massive advertising program that got them there.

    I first heard about Google on a Tech forum in Oz.

    ps. Bing's only good for <5min pr0n clips!

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