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Foundem advises EU to reject Google's proposed anti-trust settlement

15 May 2013
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

UK price comparison firm Foundem has rejected Google's proposed web search concessions.

The concessions come following the European Union's (EU) ongoing anti-trust investigation into Google's search business. Foundem reports that the current proposed concessions will do nothing to alleviate Google's monopoly on web searches.

Foundem said in its response: "There are many problems with Google's proposals. But one fundamental flaw undermines every clause: the proposals ignore the natural search results and AdWords listings that Google is being charged with manipulating."

Foundem believes that the proposed concessions ignore the basis of Google's monopoly on search. Instead, the concessions focus on minor alterations to Google's "self-serving Universal Search inserts".

According to Foundem's report, any concessions must address Google's Adword search capabilities. Foundem says Adwords will continue to give Google an unfair advantage until it is re-worked.

The company says that the current proposal fails to correct Google search's relevance for showing its own services in results. Foundem believes that to truly slow Google's search monopoly it would have to either eliminate Universal Search or drastically change it.

"There are only two practical ways to remedy the anti-competitive effects of Universal Search: either eliminate the practice and insist that Google reinstates the natural search results that users visit Google for or radically alter the purpose of Universal Search in order to create a relevance-based level-playing field within it," continued Foundem.

Google's anti-trust case was instigated by competitors such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Nokia. The competitors said that Google search business was unfairly taking control of the search landscape. Firms accused the search giant of touting its own services in its search.

This isn't the first time Foundem has cried foul over Google's search practices. In 2010, the company accused Google of anti-competitive behaviour.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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