Thursday, December 6, 2012

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Antitrust Verdict Hangs in Balance

Reuters has reported that EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia has stated that EU antitrust regulators have not declared their verdict in the case against Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG). The company still waits for a decision from the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. Almunia has said they are in discussion with Google to try and reach a settlement.

Schmidt revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he is unsure about the enormity of the threat of an antitrust lawsuit now. He confirmed like Almunia that they are in talks with both the Europeans and the Federal Trade Commission and are hoping for a positive decision. He views Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook as the “Gang of Four” companies that matter the most in consumer tech. Among their rivals, Google considers Apple’s Siri to be the strongest one and often use to demonstrate the future “non-conforming to the Web” competition.

Joshua Wright, a law professor from George Mason University, was nominated to the FTC, according to reports in September. It was viewed as a positive sign from Google since Wright had penned multiple papers in opposition to antitrust regulation against Google. But Wright has revealed he will not be associated with Google cases to prevent conflict of interest, which doesn’t look too good for Google as of now.

The FTC and EU have definitely come up with a solid case against Google. In fact, the FTC is probing everywhere to explore the possibility of consumers being hurt by the way the company ranks its search results. According to MarketWatch, Mr. Almunia, who Monday met Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said they had an in-depth discussion about Google and that Mr. Leibowitz revealed they would make a decision by the year end.

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