It has been a troubled period for Google search algorithm in European countries, with the Competitors Commission implementing a Declaration of Arguments regarding the shopping comparison services — tagging an escalation of its five-year antitrust research. The Competitors Commissioner also released a similar detailed study into Google’s mobile OS Android, by following antitrust gripes. Those advanced level procedures could last years, and carry the potential to end up in multi-billion-dollar charges if Google cannot fulfill the EC requirements.
Meanwhile in France parliament, the upper house has elected to back up a change to a set up economic system invoice that would require Google to show at least three competitors on its home page. Moreover, to show the technicalities of their searching methods to ensure they provide reasonable and non-discriminatory outcomes. Given that Google has circa 85% share of searching market in France, these changes, although not particularly labeling any organizations, are targeted directly at Mountain View.
The changes are led by French senate members who are also Chair of the Panel of Communication. Another point stipulating that some of the alternatives showed by Google should be a national product was also reinforced. The press reports that France’s economic minister has spoken against the changes — disagreeing with such treatments that should be left to the European Union. But they made the case for emergency, in order to back up native companies, saying Western initiatives are too slow. It it the reason why many EU countries choose to make their own laws, in contradiction with the others.
Talking about these issues with the press this week, the French officials said the goal aim of the amendments is to fight recognized prejudices in how Google works with its closed-box methods, which the allegation being that it uses this code to advertise its own offers ahead of the competitors. In their opinion, it is a question of guaranteeing equity. Too many companies view Google as bottlenecks as the net is shrinking around it.
The lack of visibility when it comes to Google’s searching positions has taken them into an additional problematic situation in the European countries during this period, having the so-called ‘oblige to be forgotten’ act passed down by the French Ministry of Justice just last year. The background in such legal issues is that Google’s technicalities have been leaking out-dated information about European residents. They took the US giant to the European justice courts and ultimately the law enforces decided that Google’s details involve foreign legislation too and therefore are subject to European Union data protection laws.
Google has now the obligation to operate any individual demands regarding personal details which are connected to the query of particular name, as opposed to the public interest that like to find out about the respective person or company. Despite the EU trying to force Google to create new settings to its operating system where individual details or private persons from Europe are submitted to searches, the technicalities of such searching methods – disclosing vital pieces of private information and pushing them to the top of online queries results – still are the subject of rather grey areas. It is exactly those intricate technicalities that the French parliament (and not only) wants to bring out to the legal surface in order to be analyzed, at the same time placing the main focus on fair business and competition, and not just on offering individual details about anyone.
If the modifications in the legislation will find their place in the French law books, the country’s specialized institutions will have the legal right to charge fines of up to 15% of the total international income of any online search engine company that does not want to conform itself to these rules. However, it is still uncertain how these restrictions will affect the business operating on the Internet. .
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