The EU is about to launch anti-trust investigations into whether or not Google abused its dominant position in the world of online search engines to further its own interests to the detriment of others.
No doubt other nations will want to jump on that bandwagon to try and get some of the search giant’s money for themselves.
Let’s not kid ourselves. This isn’t about abuse of power or monopolies or unfair practices. This is about money. Google has it and the EU wants it.
It’s difficult to rationalize how you can punish Google simply because their free search service is more popular than other free search services. Sure they may tweak their results to suit whatever criteria they want or to promote their own paid services over other people’s services, but all search engines tweak their results to one degree or another. And if Google’s manipulation of search results was overly egregious, biased, inaccurate or interfered with its functionality then eventually people would stop using it.
But whatever Google may or may not be doing their search engine does work (and works quite well). Millions upon millions of people use Google search every day and I haven’t heard a lot of complaints about its functionality or usefulness. In fact the only complaints I have ever heard about Google search results have come from the EU, the people who don’t want to appear in search results and the few companies who feel like they somehow have a right to appear higher in the results.
It’s a free service folks, no one has the right to appear anywhere on the list. Only Google gets to decide if (and where) anything appears in their results because it’s their list. They create it. They give it away for free. If you don’t like how they do it then use someone else’s service.
But if you did a search on problems that the EU should be dealing with (use whatever search engine you like) Google should be at the very bottom of that list.
Doesn’t the EU have anything better to do than try and get a cut of Google’s money? What about the tens of thousands of refugees pouring out of Africa and the Middle East? What about Greece’s financial problems? What about terrorism? What about global warming or pollution? What about hunger, discrimination, poverty, disease, crime, corruption, drugs, spying, cyber-warfare, child pornography or human trafficking? What about FIFA for God’s sake!?!
Address some of these issues first and once you’ve solved them then maybe you can think about how Google’s free search service is hurting people. As far as I know no one has died because they didn’t appear on the first page of a Google search.
Unfortunately I believe the EU is going to decide that Google is guilty of not listing some company’s chain of falafel stands on the first page of searches for fast food and therefore has violated the rights of Europeans everywhere and must be punished with some outrageously hefty fines – fines that will go straight into the EU’s bank accounts.