TripAdvisor the Latest Google Critic To File EU Antitrust Claim

Following on the heels of Expedia filing an antitrust claim against Google in Europe, fellow FairSearch.org member TripAdvisor has also filed a complaint against Google with the EU.

My sense is that this is part of a coordinated effort to put more pressure on the EU to bring formal antitrust charges against the company. EU antitrust commissioner Joaquín Almunia has said that a decision about whether to formally charge Google will come after the Easter holiday in Europe.

If I’m correct and there’s some coordination behind the scenes going on, we can expect more companies to take similar action in the next week or so.

I discovered this morning that the available remedies to the European and American antitrust investigations against Google are different. In Europe regulators can impose fines against the company (among other measures), whereas an FTC action in the US can only bring injunctive relief. The US State Attorneys General may have other remedies however.

Accordingly fines would not be available to the FTC to “punish” or remedy anti-competitive practices if liability were found against Google. By the same token regulating the SERP is also probably not in the cards. This argues for a “process” or procedural remedy. However no finding of liability has been made against Google at this point.

I do expect the Europeans, however, to bring formal charges in the next two weeks.

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Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Legal | Legal: Antitrust | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aiden-Moor/100001939456401 Aiden Moor

    Yes I am also thinking that there is some co-ordination behind it and I am also expecting same from more companies to take some actions similar to this one. So I am just waiting for it that when will it happen???????

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