Google Exposed to $9b Fine for Rigging Search Results

FrgMstr

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While this story is short on details about what is exactly going on, what I think it basically comes down to is that Google is not including Amazon and Ebay results in it searches. While it is referred to as "distorting internet search results to favour its shopping service," I have to admit that hardly ever use Google shopping results. Whatever is actually going on, this has been under investigation for seven years now, so I am sure we will get lots of details soon, and no doubt that even a $9 Billion fine will get Google's attention.

EU antitrust regulators aim to slap a hefty fine on Alphabet unit Google over its shopping service before the summer break in August, two people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for two other cases involving the US company.

Google made three unsuccessful attempts to settle the case with the previous European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in a bid to stave off a possible fine and a finding of wrongdoing.
 

rgMekanic

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Wow, thats pretty heavy. I wonder if it's only EU though because when I search for a product it's usually Amazon at the top... although I have noticed less eBay results over the last year or so
 

Cyraxx

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I find it funny they deem ebay should be required as a result for shopping.

eBay is more of a thrift store since it's mostly already used items, demanding that they lump in items from new stores seems rather ridiculous... Partially because it's hard to determine if it's the actual item the user is looking for - AND if it's the actual item.

I don't want to search for an item and have ebay auctions of the BROKEN item show up - or like a DVD Set that only includes 3 of the 4 disks, etc...
 

Archaea

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Unless eBay or Amazon is paying to have their hits first, and Google is failing to do so, then I don't clearly see the issue here. Where did we sign a contract with Google that all search results would be completely fair and unbiased?

Google is primarily ad driven to pay for their services --- one could expect to have the companies highlighted who pay Google the most revenue through ads, and not necessarily direct competitors products highlighted.

Anyway it's a free service -- feel free to not use it - use yahoo or bing or webcrawler. :)

This sounds like another case of greedy lawyers.
 

pyr02k1

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Wow, thats pretty heavy. I wonder if it's only EU though because when I search for a product it's usually Amazon at the top... although I have noticed less eBay results over the last year or so
I don't think it was. I remember a time a year or two back (time is hazy with a 9 month old) where I'd search for an item using Google and nothing Amazon would appear in the first 2 or 3 pages (after which I'd give up and go to Amazon.com). These were items I'd purchased previously, they'd been on Amazon for months under the same listing (by Amazon, not a third party), and worse off was that the 2 or 3 pages I'd go through, the majority of the results weren't relevant or were clearly spam. Same applied with eBay right around that time as well (no ebay in the results). Thought it was weird and it definitely was frustrating since I'd have to go to each separate site to search them for it. Truth is, they're a friggin' company that gets paid by advertising and collecting user data. Archaea is spot on with his assessment of it. If the Governments want to pay Google to be neutral, that's up to them, but they are still a company who sells a service, and they don't usually like to advertise a competitor.
 

Quartz-1

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This is a shakedown. No wonder Google are putting their regional HQ in London.
 

Ocellaris

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Why can't Google control the results to suit their needs? Their whole business mode is to generate ad revenue. Google isn't a public service or a monopoly, people have other options.
 

-PK-

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I think google shopping used to show recommended results, and then you had to click show all to see the other sellers who had cheaper prices.
 
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xorbe

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Google Shopping went down the tubes forever ago, I thought it was pay-to-be-listed now.
 

sirmonkey1985

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Wow, thats pretty heavy. I wonder if it's only EU though because when I search for a product it's usually Amazon at the top... although I have noticed less eBay results over the last year or so


i find it quite funny actually because EU bitched about how google was prioritizing big internet sales companies over local EU companies and now they're bitching that they're not prioritizing amazon over those local companies.. damned if you do damned if you don't.. guess the EU's that desperate for money.

This is a shakedown. No wonder Google are putting their regional HQ in London.

EU's been doing it for years with all these big businesses, google, amazon, apple, etc. instead of solving their own money issues they're using these companies to solve them..
 
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sirmonkey1985

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Well they aren't going to get billions from us for climate over-exaggerations so they have to find it somewhere lol

we're the highest contributors to the UN by a huge margin, spending a couple extra billion is pocket change.
 

vegeta535

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i find it quite funny actually because EU bitched about how google was prioritizing big internet sales companies over local EU companies and now they're bitching that they're not prioritizing amazon over those local companies.. damned if you do damned if you don't.. guess the EU's that desperate for money.



EU's been doing it for years with all these big businesses, google, amazon, apple, etc. instead of solving their own money issues they're using these companies to solve them..
Like others said. All it is a shake down. No matter what Google does the EU would find a reason to sue any major corporation. Socialism doesn't pay for itself. If they some how lose this I hope they pull comepeletly out of the EU and give them the finger on the way out without paying a penny. The EU is getting really greedy and going to cause their greatest ally to pull out.
 

tunatime

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I would just say nope and pull all my stuff out of eu on principal. That's going to happen one day as all the time you here about these fines and the numbers get biger and biger each time.
 

SomeoneElse

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Not that the case is without merit—I have no idea of the particulars—but I do know the EU is always after that money, however they can get it.
Every time i see a headline with an exorbitant dollar amount fine it always leads to the EU suing a company to get money.....I always ask myself where the F does that money go if the EU wins? Surely not the country's infrastructure budget for each of the EU participants....
 

michalrz

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The 'pick your internet browser' nag screen that was added because Microsoft 'pushed' IE in their own operating system. Similar case.
If Amazon or Ebay had an agreement of sorts to advertise using Google's services, then yeah, they should be eligible for some payback for services not rendered (obscured potential ad space).
The EU? Billions? Not so much.
 

LMT MFA

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Ya'll are having a big case of Americanitis here (Go Go Gadget No-Likes!) :p

The EU has twice as many citizens as the US, most of which are pretty well off, what company in their right mind would pull out of a market like that?

And needing the money? EU's GDP is like 18 trillion USD or something (about the same as the US I think? Roughly), a tiny country like the Netherlands alone has a GDP of about 900 billion USD. I know that's not spendable cash, but you get the idea of "size" here.

9 Billion is chump change at state level, but not for misbehaving companies, whom it's meant to hurt.
 

Madoc

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Sounds like the EU is practicing Trump's art of the deal methodology. They really must like him a lot.
 

SomeoneElse

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Ya'll are having a big case of Americanitis here (Go Go Gadget No-Likes!) :p

The EU has twice as many citizens as the US, most of which are pretty well off, what company in their right mind would pull out of a market like that?

And needing the money? EU's GDP is like 18 trillion USD or something (about the same as the US I think? Roughly), a tiny country like the Netherlands alone has a GDP of about 900 billion USD. I know that's not spendable cash, but you get the idea of "size" here.

9 Billion is chump change at state level, but not for misbehaving companies, whom it's meant to hurt.
Its actually more about a government agency suing a company over ridiculous claims. Money that is NOT entitled to anyone. Suing is probably the biggest problem anyone has ever faced in business and personal life. Its usually a petty way of making money for doing nothing.
 

LMT MFA

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Its actually more about a government agency suing a company over ridiculous claims. Money that is NOT entitled to anyone. Suing is probably the biggest problem anyone has ever faced in business and personal life. Its usually a petty way of making money for doing nothing.

Well then, since no-one really knows anything yet, as per the post, what's all the hubbub about. Or was Intel also wrongfully sued by government agencies those years ago?
 

SomeoneElse

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Well then, since no-one really knows anything yet, as per the post, what's all the hubbub about. Or was Intel also wrongfully sued by government agencies those years ago?
No, but the fact that $9 billion dollars is the amount, why 9 billion? Whats the calculation involved to reach this amount? Has google actually made $9 billion in orders that its rightfully due? .....Why does the EU need 9 billion? E-bay and Amazon aren't even European companies so do they get the cut since they are the "victims" of this? Those are all the questions that I have. The point is the EU always wants an insanely large amount of money over silly claims for probably 80% of their law suits. This is why lawsuits are just ridiculous what damages are caused to the government agency? They surely won't pass that to their citizenship.
 

oldmanbal

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This is really rediculous. If you own the web browser, you have the sole ability to deliver results as you see fit. How in the fuck is illegal to feature your business partners higher in the results of YOUR web browser. The web browser is not government run, so why would you want your competitors at the top of your browser? I really don't get this.
 
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Usually when I'm searching a product Amazon is the fourth or fifth in the list. Don't see what the issue is, and for eBay not showing up, well most of the time I dont want used shit anyway.
 

LMT MFA

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No, but the fact that $9 billion dollars is the amount, why 9 billion? Whats the calculation involved to reach this amount? Has google actually made $9 billion in orders that its rightfully due? .....Why does the EU need 9 billion? E-bay and Amazon aren't even European companies so do they get the cut since they are the "victims" of this? Those are all the questions that I have. The point is the EU always wants an insanely large amount of money over silly claims for probably 80% of their law suits. This is why lawsuits are just ridiculous what damages are caused to the government agency? They surely won't pass that to their citizenship.

Well, as for your questions, see my previous post, the one you're replying to, no one has the details yet. "two people familiar with the matter said". No one even knows if any of this is even factual, it's 2 guys "familiar" with it, but here come the pitchforks because Not-The-US.

"for probably 80% of their law suits" - 95% of statistics are made up on the spot

When has the fine in these cases ever gone to the victims, anywhere in the world? Not saying that's right, but that's the way it always is everrywhere. These cases aren't about reparations, they're about punishment. Same as how your speeding ticket doesn't go to the victims of reckless drivers.
 

Arcygenical

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The second Google lists ebay results as top search results, even in their shopping portal - is the second I drop them.

And Amazon links always show up.

I fucking hate the EU.
 

LMT MFA

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This is really rediculous. If you own the web browser, you have the sole ability to deliver results as you see fit. How in the fuck is illegal to feature your business partners higher in the results of YOUR web browser. The web browser is not government run, so why would you want your competitors at the top of your browser? I really don't get this.

I sorta agree, but if powerful companies are left to their own devices we would all very quickly be very fucked, yes, much more so than we already are. Competition would be irradicated within no time whatsoever by the most powerful. I think you actually know that already.
 

LMT MFA

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The second Google lists ebay results as top search results, even in their shopping portal - is the second I drop them.

And Amazon links always show up.

I fucking hate the EU.

See pyr02k1's reply. This case has apparently been going on for years. Are you seeing those results because they were always there, or because Google is getting it's ass ridden? I honestly don't know, can't remember that far back :p
 

Arcygenical

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See pyr02k1's reply. This case has apparently been going on for years. Are you seeing those results because they were always there, or because Google is getting it's ass ridden? I honestly don't know, can't remember that far back :p
I really don't give a damn. Ebay is a goddamned cancer on e-commerce.
 

Mistral

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And people wonder why we're going to give the Paris Agreement the finger...

What a load of nonsense

Whatever EU does, people here always automatically bash it down, faster than heatlessun would come in defence of Microsoft. And then you get comments like this on top of that. 'Murica first.
 

AaronGant

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I think amazon search results should include google and ebay shopping links, would help me check prices easier.
 

Retronym

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Company can't favor it's own services with its own intellectual property.

Makes sense.
 
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