A week can be a long time in search and no where is this better highlighted than in the ongoing Google Antitrust soap opera. Just a mere 7 days after the Federal Trade Commission in the US committed that there was not enough evidence to support claims that Google was favouring its own results in favour of others, the EU concluded completely the opposite – that Google was indeed taking advantage of its strong position in the search marketplace. Indeed, the EU’s Competition Chief Joaquin Almunia went one step further by using the words “abuse of this dominant position” – holding no punches in terms of where the EU’s perspective on this lay.
Its an interest backdrop against that of the earlier FTC judgement. According to the FTC, whilst Google offered its own products amongst the search results – this was for user experience purposes rather than any more sinister motives (I would suggest they merely type “reader” into Google and tell me that Google Reader should be above Acrobat Reader etc but anyway). Further to that the FTC’s role was to look after customers – not competitors – and outlining that the facts weren’t there to support any complaints to the contrary. Again when one considers what happened at the height of the Internet Explorer days, its an interesting contrast to what we see with what we have seen with Google. (more…)