Game Time for Google

May 26, 2012

It’s game time for Google, but small businesses have the ball, the cheerleaders and the referee’s on their side of the field. It looks like the search giant doesn’t have anyone shouting ‘hooray’ for their team according to Microsoft-backed groups praise EU’s antitrust ultimatum to Google.

The European Commission reviewed Google’s play book and voiced their concern as:

  • Google displays its own links differently from its competitor links for vertical search services alongside the general search service.
  • Google copies content, such as user reviews from competitors to display without authorization.
  • There is an antitrust agreement issue between Google and partners that use Google search on websites.
  • Google puts restrictions on the portability of online AdWord search advertising campaigns to competitors’ platforms.

Almunia stated:

“Google has a matter of weeks to come up with proposals of its own. Failing that, the EC would continue its investigation into possible anti-competitive practices by Google, including the possible sending of a Statement of Objections, a list of formal charges.”

“Because these issues impact small businesses the hardest, it is critical that the EU takes decisive steps to address the Google antitrust problem.”

EC is examining the rules, so we’ll see how it all plays out. If pregame chatter impacts the end result, than the odds are against Google this season. It looks like the cheerleaders aren’t the only ones with a bone to pick.

Jennifer Shockley, May 26, 2012

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