• FrankReed

    I am trying to get my head around the apparent fact that Almunia thought Google’s ‘competitors’ would rubber stamp anything short of taking the search down. This is the trouble in trying to appear to be fair. While folks like FairSearch.org hide behind their name they don’t want fair, they want Google to be completely handcuffed so they (FairSearch participants) can use the engine to get their entitled piece of the pie. The whole EU process and set up is awful as far as I can tell. Regulate and control everything and expect people to play fair. That’s naive. If you are a true regulatory body you have to make hard decisions that everyone abides by, not simply put it out to ‘vote’ when it’s painfully obvious that everyone has their own agenda which is never going to be fair to their competitors. Regulators determine the boundaries, not referee fights.

  • Spann

    The commission can accept the agreement as is but competitors who think it’s inadequate can sue the commission to overturn it. Almunia is stuck between suing Google or being sued by dozens of European companies who don’t understand why the EU has sacrificed them for a US monopoly that many think doesn’t pay taxes, invades privacy and thumbs its nose at European law. He wants to find the middle to avoid either of those.

  • Spann

    And I think it’s not just competitors who can sue, it’s anyone who’s interested and includes all the content publishers – movie publishers, newspapers, TV stations, photographers and image agencies, soccer leagues, etc. – as well as the consumer protection groups that have come out against the settlement.

  • Jeff

    Your analogy is nonsense. What “Fair”Search is aiming for is equivalent to forcing Sony to put a different manufacturer’s electronics in its own packages just because 93% of the market prefers Sony. When I go to Google and search for [best fish and chips in london], I want suggestions on where to get fish and chips, not a link to TripAdvisor trying to answer the same question. If Google’s competitors think they can do better within a particular search vertical, let them compete on their own merit.

    What’s even worse is that Microsoft argues they should still be allowed to use their own vertical search products as they see fit within their own search results. Making Google go back to 10 blue links whereas Bing would still have the freedom to innovate the search results page would definitely give them a competitive advantage, but by no stretch of imagination is that fair.

  • Jeff

    “In this instance I’m talking about Google’s competitors as price comparison sites, hotel providers etc, not Bing. And ALL of those sites provide better results than Google’s equivalent results, yet Google’s comparison services are still placed above them.”

    So what exactly do you think Google is obligated to show when someone searches [best fish and chips in london]?