It’s been a bad week for Google in Europe, with the Competition Commission on Wednesday adopting a Statement of Objections regard its shopping comparison service — marking an escalation of a five-year long antitrust investigation. The Competition Commissioner also launched a parallel in-depth probe into Google’s mobile OS Android, following antitrust complains. Those high level processes could last years, and have the potential to result in multi-billion-dollar fines if Google can’t satisfy the EC.
Meanwhile in France, the upper house of parliament yesterday voted to support an amendment to a draft economy bill that would require search engines to display at least three rivals on their homepage. And also to reveal the workings of their search ranking algorithms to ensure they deliver fair and non-discriminatory results. Given that Google has a circa 90% share of the search market in France these amendments, although not specifically naming any companies, are aimed squarely at Mountain View.
The amendments are…
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