Google Antitrust Settlement Europe

EU: Google must make more concessions within weeks, or else

By on January 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM.

EU: Google must make more concessions within weeks, or else

The European Union is asking Google to propose more concessions in its attempt to settle an antitrust investigation that’s looking into the company’s search practices in the region, and the EU wants those concessions in the coming weeks, Reuters reports, not later down the road. “We need more and we need more not during the next year, we need more during the next weeks,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said, explaining to reporters that he is still waiting for Google to provide a response to his opinion that concessions offered so far are not enough to address the EU’s concerns. More →

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EU Google Antitrust Case

Microsoft says Google still isn’t playing fair

By on December 12, 2013 at 7:45 PM.

Microsoft says Google still isn’t playing fair

Microsoft and other interested parties that have antitrust complaints against Google in Europe are not happy with the concessions the search giant is ready to make, adding a study that tracks eye movement to prove Google’s misconduct when it comes to promoting its services in search at the expense of competitors. Microsoft’s Initiative for Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP) commissioned a study from the German Sports University in Köln to track the eyes of users performing Google searches in the region. The study revealed that Google users are more likely to click on a search result leading to a Google service than to a service from a different company. More →

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Microsoft Android Antitrust

Microsoft’s Android antitrust complaint called ‘an attack on open source’

By on April 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM.

Microsoft’s Android antitrust complaint called ‘an attack on open source’

When a Microsoft (MSFT)-led group called Fairsearch Europe filed an antitrust complaint against Google (GOOG) and its Android platform this week, it didn’t merely say that the company was rigging its search results to benefit its own products. Instead, it went a step further and said that Google was unfairly promoting Android to device manufacturers by making it free to use, while also accusing the company of employing “predatory distribution of Android at below-cost.” Ars Technica’s Timothy Lee finds this sort of attack on Android to be very dangerous on Microsoft’s part since it seemingly isn’t just attacking Google but the entire nature of open-source software. More →

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Google accused of withholding evidence in antitrust probe

By on June 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM.

Google accused of withholding evidence in antitrust probe

Google Sued Texas AG Antitrust Investigation

Google has apparently decided to mess with Texas. Per the Wall Street Journal, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed suit against Google in an attempt to lasso some runaway documents that Google claimed were covered by attorney-client privilege. In all, Google has claimed attorney-client privilege on more than 14,500 documents and the Texas AG is alleging that Google hasn’t even come close to clearly demonstrating that they’re all privileged. Abbott is investigating Google for allegedly using its monopoly search power to harm rival Internet companies. Antitrust regulators in both the United States federal government and the European Union have launched similar investigations. More →

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Apple to DOJ: We’re the good guys, not the bad guys

By on April 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM.

Apple to DOJ: We’re the good guys, not the bad guys

In a filing with the United States district court for southern New York, Apple claims the Department of Justice has its story all wrong. The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Apple and multiple book publishers earlier this week alleging that the group colluded to fix the prices of electronic books. In a recently released document filed with the court on Wednesday, Apple’s counsel addressed the charges by claiming the DOJ has its story backwards — Apple wasn’t working with publishers to fix eBook prices, it was breaking Amazon’s “monopolistic grip” on the eBook market and the publishing industry. Read on for more. More →

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U.S. government sues Apple over eBook price-fixing

By on April 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM.

U.S. government sues Apple over eBook price-fixing

The United States government has filed an antitrust suit against Apple, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin alleging that the companies conspired to fix electronic book prices. Reports surfaced more than a month ago suggesting that the Department of Justice had launched an investigation into whether or not Apple had colluded with publishers to raise the prices of eBooks sold through Apple’s iBookstore. According to Bloomberg, an antitrust suit was filed by the government on Wednesday in a New York district court. More →

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Apple subpoenaed by FTC in Google antitrust probe

By on March 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM.

Apple subpoenaed by FTC in Google antitrust probe

Apple has been subpoenaed by the United Stated Federal Trade Commission as part of an antitrust investigation of Google, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The FTC is reportedly interested in an agreement with Apple that made Google the default search engine on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. “As mobile search gets more widespread, the default setting becomes more significant,” antitrust lawyer Allen Grunes told Bloomberg. The FTC has been looking into Google’s business practices — specifically, its search business — for almost a year.

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DOJ threatens Apple with antitrust suit over eBook price-fixing

By on March 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM.

DOJ threatens Apple with antitrust suit over eBook price-fixing

The United States Department of Justice has warned Apple and five top U.S. book publishers that it plans to file an antitrust lawsuit against them, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday evening. According to the paper’s multiple unnamed sources, the DOJ alleges that Apple colluded with publishers to raise the prices of eBooks sold through Apple’s iBooks store. Publishers named in the report include Simon & Schuster Inc., Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Read on for more. More →

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Apple scores a victory over Motorola in German patent case

By on February 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

Apple scores a victory over Motorola in German patent case

Apple on Monday won a ruling over Motorola Mobility in a German appeals court over a recent patent infringement suit, reports Bloomberg. The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court ruled in Apple’s favor, stating that Motorola cannot further enforce its standard-essential patent injunction against the Cupertino-based company. The ruling allows Apple to continue to offer its products in its online store while it appeals a ruling that temporarily banned the company’s iPhone and iPad. “At the current state of the proceedings, it is to be assumed that Motorola Mobility would violate its duties under antitrust rules if it continues to ask Apple to stop the sales,” the court said in a statement. More →

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Samsung faces antitrust investigation in Europe over use of mobile patents

By on January 31, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

Samsung faces antitrust investigation in Europe over use of mobile patents

The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it has opened a formal investigation into Samsung’s competitive practices. The Commission will assess whether the Korean manufacturer “used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules.” Samsung has used a collection of its patents to launch a series of lawsuits against rival companies, such as Apple. The technology giant maintains, however, that these patents are essential to implementing European mobile telephony standards. Samsung may now be in violation of a promise it made in 1998, when the company gave its “irrevocable commitment to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.” Read on for the Commission’s full press release. More →

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EU to decide whether or not it will file formal complaint against Google by end of March

By on January 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

EU to decide whether or not it will file formal complaint against Google by end of March

Officials in the European Union will decide by the end of March whether or not to formally investigate Google. An informal investigation into Google’s practices has been ongoing since November 2010“I will receive comments from the case team towards the end of the first quarter,” European Union competition commissioner Joaguin Alumnia told Reuters. “I do not expect anything sooner. Let us see.” 10 different firms have filed anti-competition complaints against Google with the European Commission. The United States Federal Trade Commission announced in June that it was also reviewing Google’s business practices related to search and online advertising. Watchdog groups such as Fairsearch.org have accused Google of engaging “in anti-competitive behavior… that harms consumers by restricting the ability of other companies to compete to put the best products and services in front of Internet users, who should be allowed to pick winners and losers online not Google.” Google, however, has said that its business practices will stand up to ongoing investigations. “These are the principles that guide us, and we know they’ll stand up to scrutiny,” Google Fellow Amit Singhal said in June. More →

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Italy fines Apple $1.2 million for misleading consumers

By on December 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM.

Italy fines Apple $1.2 million for misleading consumers

Italy’s Antitrust Authority has fined Apple Sales International, Apple Italia Srl and Apple Retail Italia a total of $1.2 million for “unfair commercial practices.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s Italy-based retail stores were fined €500,000 ($653,000) for not providing customers with adequate information about its AppleCare Protection Plan warranties, and an additional €400,000 ($523,00) for not being completely transparent about the length of product guarantees. The fines are a bit surprising, considering that Apple is typically praised for customer satisfaction in the United States. Apple has not commented publicly on the matter. More →

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U.S. government to probe Verizon’s $3.6 billion spectrum deal with Comcast

By on December 20, 2011 at 2:15 PM.

U.S. government to probe Verizon’s $3.6 billion spectrum deal with Comcast

The antitrust division of the United States Justice Department will investigate Verizon Wireless’s plans to acquire spectrum from Comcast and its partners for $3.6 billion. Verizon Wireless announced in early December its intentions to purchase 122 AWS spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The carrier said it plans to use the additional spectrum to build out its 4G LTE network, pending government approval of the purchase. The Justice Department has the power to block the deal, although it is unclear when the investigation will be concluded.  More →

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