Foundem Predicts Dire EU Legal Mess for Google
September 17, 2012
Ah, Google and its legal woes. Has it become too much, or do they consider it a cost of doing business via controlled chaos? PCPro informs us, “Foundem Claims Google Faces Tsunami of Litigation.” The vertical search, price comparison site Foundem has been a thorn in Google’s side for a couple of years now. The UK-based company filed a complaint with the EU in 2010, claiming the search behemoth rigged its results to favor its own services over those of competitors, including Foundum. The company
now asserts there will soon be a “tsunami” (their word) of EU litigation against Google following the judgment they seem certain will go their way.
Writer Stewart Mitchell notes:
“An infringement decision is by no means guaranteed, but with Europe’s competition chiefs mulling over Google’s proposals for changes to its business methods, action through courts is a distinct possibility if Google doesn’t agree to make changes voluntarily.
‘Unbeknownst to its shareholders, Google’s increasingly anti-competitive practices have been quietly accruing billions of dollars of antitrust liabilities,’ said Foundem boss Shivaun Raff. ‘It is impossible to know how many companies have been harmed or destroyed by these practices — it could be hundreds or even thousands — but whatever the number, the consequence of abuse on a grand scale is liabilities on a grand scale.'”
I’d say that qualifies as a “tsunami,” if it indeed comes to pass. According to Raff, the EU’s investigation has come to a provisional infringement decision. For now, Google says it is cooperating with EU officials to bring its practices in line with their requirements. No word on when a final judgment is expected.
Cynthia Murrell, September 17, 2012