Google is a money making machine and it does that by manipulating all the information there is on the internet, as it is the boss of it all, information, that is. Google is the one that changes the rules in marketing and advertising, the two main concepts that can boost sales for any business. It monetizes personal data, it puts the right price on what it delivers to us and it builds all the terms and conditions for all the information that supposedly runs free on our web pages. “Free” is already gone in the realm of illusion, as not even a keyword written on the search bar of a Google page is not free, although if we don’t, someone else surely pays for it.
The European Union now leads an antitrust case against Google that takes advantage of its position and plays with information in a really nasty way.
The Commission charged Google two months ago for abusing its dominant market position as a search provider in Europe. Seemingly, Google systematically favored its own comparison shopping product over competitors. This practice infringes on EU antitrust rules as it hurts equity and consumers altogether.
The case became a strong statement when complaints from huge organizations like Microsoft, Foundem, Yelp and European Consumer Group BEUC took shape and knocked on the powerful doors and offices of the EU.
Google seems to downplay the web services of rivals in search results, while popping out with its own. For instance, if you type in a search for maps on the internet, you will surely see that Google Maps is the first result appearing in front of your eyes, and all the others, and maybe better alternatives will be displayed far below.
This is a strong and clear case of what power does and the way it empowers manipulation rather than constructive positions over it. This week, the EU sent the complaints to Google, imposing strict confidentiality clauses around the document. There will be four weeks of internal trials and tribulations, along with an attempt to send extra evidence.
It seems that this is not the only matter that has put Google under the spotlights of the EU, as the institution launched a separate antitrust research that focuses on the company’s building if its apps with the Android OS.
It was about time for someone to react and regulate what the number one information provided delivers to consumers all over the world. Information is a value that should be disseminated based on truth, not on financial interests, as Google does now. Google is now on the line with an antitrust case that hopefully will shed some light over the giant’s practices and regulate them accordingly.
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