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Re: 1plusV Lobs Another Antitrust Grenade at Google
Posted by: Erika Morphy 2011-06-29 05:12:19
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French search company 1plusV has stepped up its battle with Google over how its algorithms rank sites, filing suit against the search engine giant in the French Commercial Court. It is seeking $423 million in damages from business it claims it lost due to alleged antitrust practices by Google. At $423 million, it is the largest claim filed against Google in Europe to date. This is not, however, the only accusation of anticompetitive behavior lodged against the search engine in Europe. Google has been the target of a handful of accusations, including prior complaints lodged by 1plusV.

Fair Play for Google
Posted by: SteveFrunkis 2011-06-29 05:42:21 In reply to: Erika Morphy
Google's detractors seem to be missing a couple of points here:

(1) Google is a private company. They are not a government entity with some sort of obligation of impartiality. Even if Google were to massage their search results to favor themselves or their sponsors - so what? They are providing a free service. They are not charging people, promising them unbiased search results. If I ask a plumber if he can recommend a few good painters, the first one might be his brother, another might be his customer. So what? The same should apply to Google.

(2) If the contention is that Google has some special obligation to the world due to some sort of supposed "monopoly" status, that is pretty specious. This isn't a case where there is a physical monopoly, like a local phone company that owns all of the wires, nor is it a licensure monopoly, like Sirius/XM having the sole license for satellite radio in the US. It's just really good market share gained through doing things well.

Even if Google's position was gained through intentionally promoting its products and services over those of others, that's just good business.

To make a point regarding Google, back to Sirius/XM for a second. They are a monopoly - more of a monopoly than Google in their particular segment. Let's say an on-air personality gives a list of what's going on the world of entertainment this evening. They are perfectly within their rights to mention ten of their programs before they mention America's Got Talent. Their algorithm is biased. So what?
Google should be allowed to list whatever they want in their search results in any order they want, so long as they are not materially misrepresenting the nature of the results or swindling anybody.
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