View Full Version : Google hit with 2.1bn EU anti-trust fine

30 Jun 2017, 03:24 PM
So over the past few days I heard about a fine the EU handed to Google for supposed anti-trust. After hearing a very basic overview of why the fine was handed down, I was frustrated over what I deemed as unnecessary market intervention.

If you google 'running trainers' you are returned a list of web pages that sell running shoes. Websites get on page 1 by using white hat SEO techniques (white hat = good, black hat = dark arts magic such as clickbait. Afaik the terms come from magic tricks being black hat.) You can pay to have an ad at the top of the page, but if you want to be the first non-ad (organic reach), you have to be very good at SEO and running a website.

So when people moan that they're on page 6, my first thought is hire an SEO specialist. When they moan Amazon is on page 6 too, I would say exactly the same. Google give presedence to it's own maps, because when you search for running shoes in London, chances are - you'll look at a map next. If 80% of people searching for running shoes in London are buying from Sports Direct, why put Sports Direct on page 6?

All that said, the one thing I can't defend Google on is whether or not their algorithms actually do favourite certain retailers, regardless of how users browse them. On the surface, this is an opportunistic attack on good marketing to stem the tide of other countries looking to leave the EU. As a remainer, I'm beginning to regret my decision to vote remain.

The Economist article below also draws interesting comparisons to Microsoft's Windows fine in the 2000's. Windows automatically included Internet Explorer on every copy of Windows which apparently distorted the market. Nevertheless, IE is an abhorrent browser and people respond in kind by downloading Chrome or Firefox. I don't see a problem.

Your thoughts?

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40406542), Economist (https://www.economist.com/news/business/21724436-its-case-not-perfect-it-asks-right-questions-european-commission-levies-huge), BBC 'the internet reacts' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40418197).

notorious crunchie
30 Jun 2017, 08:32 PM
Well all the things I've googled on it seem to show google in a good light