Google admits fault in EU antitrust allegations



Google’s troubles in the European Union are well-documented, with the latest happenings seeing the Mountain View company slapped with antitrust charges over how they promote products through their search engine.

Google set out to battle the allegations from day one, with a plan to show how your average Joe Schmo is just as visible in the Google Search rankings as the big guys. But Google’s European arm says they definitely aren’t perfect, and acknowledge that they do have a lot to learn about doing business over there.

“We don’t always get it right,” said Matt Britton, Google’s head of European affairs. “As far as Europe is concerned: we get it. We understand that people here are not the same in their attitudes to everything as people in America.”

And he’s right: that people on two different sides of one huge ocean are different is not some forbidden knowledge. Britton attributes much of Google’s missteps to not having a strong enough presence in the region (despite Google having many campuses situated all throughout). In particular, Britton himself expects he’ll be hitting the ground in Europe a lot more from now on — to the tune of once per month, at least — to make sure they’re well in-tune with local policy, culture and laws.

We’re not sure what that will say for the result of the charges against Google, but the company is apparently prepared to settle if the EU does, in fact, find them to be in violation of their antitrust laws. As it stands there is no full-fledged lawsuit or trial attached to this thing yet, but this sudden outcry of guilt seems to suggest Google won’t be able to simply brush this off and get on with their day.

[via Politico]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Google did the same thing during the FTC investigation. I don’t know that I would consider it an admission of fault or guilt, but in the past the company has shown a willingness to work a compromise and avoid wasteful litigation. I suspect that’s all they are doing here. I would also still expect Google to vigorously defend against the baseless complaints filed against them, many of which were submitted by Microsoft and its proxies. If you do a little digging, there’s some interesting history to this over the last few years.

  2. Damn it Quentyn, you spelled my name wrong

  3. This is one of the dumbest, most misleading headlines I’ve seen in a long while. Google said they were not perfect. They did not admit guilt in any manner, and if you bother to actually read their statement they specifically deny any guilt in the EU’s charges. I expect better journalism than this from Phandroid.

  4. You know there are companies out there who’s sole business to to get their clients to get near the top of search results. I know, because my company pays one of them. We allow their bots to crawl our site to simulate traffic.

    It’s really like a web site protection racket.

    This really isn’t a Google thing.

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