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Google parks old pay-to-play auction in front of European Commission – reports

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And I still just scroll past all that gumpfh and go to a storefront I trust, or the search results themselves, rather than random ads at the top of the page put there by the highest bidder.

Seriously, if I wanted a camera, I'd try Amazon first. Then camera shops. Then a search for a model of camera. At no point would I click top/side ads on any of those pages/sites.

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you may not, but millions, maybe billions do.

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EU to Google.

No problem.

We are thinking of taxing a pay per click of just 1 cent.

The trial, expected to last 5 years, will just test a couple of domains to start with.

We'll start with

googlesyndication.com

doubleclick.net

We'll review these on a monthly basis and see if they need amending. If we don't receive payment, we'll simply get them blocked at ISP level.

Love

EU

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Anonymous Coward

Re: EU to Google.

They don't need to do that. They have already declared that they will fine Google €10'000 a day until it finds an acceptable solution.

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Re: EU to Google.

Less than 4 million euros a year is not going to change Google's behaviour.

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Re: EU to Google.

Google made over 14 million euros in profit every day last year. Fining them about eight hours worth of profit is unlikely to bother them. Heck, it may not even be worth fighting - the bill for a team of lawyers able to successfully fight the EU might be higher than the cost of a 4 million euro annuity. The only reason they are is to apparently enshrine an additional revenue source as a legal requirement!

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Happy

Re: EU to Google.

I think there was a typo somewhere; the EU plans to fine Google ten millions Euros a day, not ten thousand. I think that's enough to make even Google pay attention.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah the good ol' F'em. Backed by Microsoft?

If companies want to be in the sponsored links area then they should have to pay, they shouldn't be allowed free access to a dedicated banner area. Either get Google to scrap the shopping comparison area on their main search but please don't force us back to the days of having the first 300 pages filled with the price comparison site like it used to be. Sometime (most times) I'm searching for reviews or details about a product I don't want to be shown hundreds of meta-search sites.

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Paris Hilton

Curious to see the answer of the EU

In the end, it's the top of the google.com page which is valuable real estate. Google's price comparison engine does profit from being able to put ads there, but that's less space for Google to put text ads.

If the price comparison engine becomes a separate entity, or possibly a separate company, and Google runs an arm's-length auction to decide who gets to put their ads there, then it looks like a textbook solution to monopolies.

It's pretty much a given that FoundEm would complain, given that it's dead and buried, and the only money they can hope for is damage settlements; they have no interest in any solution. The big question is, will the EU accept it?

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Re: Curious to see the answer of the EU

It's like Netscape Navigator all over again. By the time Microsoft lost the case, Netscape were dead - so it didn't matter. Which then makes the remedy an intereesting question.

There are still specialist price comparison sites out there. Expedia and Trivago even have the cash to advertise on telly. Plus the millions of shit hotel comparison sites. I don't know if things like Pricerunner and Kelkoo are still going though.

But MS didn't get to charge the browser makers for space on their browser choice screen. And Google don't charge anything for their normal search results - so it's hard to argue they should be able to get out of being a convicted monopolist with an extra revenue stream.

MS had to put browsers in a random order - so maybe Google should have to do that - and maybe only show the top 3 results. Then the EU can just do a bit of price googling, and check they're not cheating. Though they'll need to do that from random IP addresses and clean computers - as we don't want a Googlegate to go with Dieselgate...

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Re: Curious to see the answer of the EU

If the EU actually wanted to solve this, they'd define a market product data interchange format and exchange. They'd be able to track and kill counterfeiters with it too.

They don't *know* what a fair solution is. They have just declared they will punish Google until, basically, Google make them feel in control again, by providing an unspecified something that's not guaranteed to even exist. Google's only solution may be to *never* integrate specialised search results in general search results, which makes everything dumber, as the future's on the other side of that tech.

Consider how an AI answers "Where's the nearest place to buy a good hammer" and how many competing map, location, shop, products, recommendation engines could be involved in a verbal answer?

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Re: Curious to see the answer of the EU

Consider how an AI answers "Where's the nearest place to buy a good hammer" and how many competing map, location, shop, products, recommendation engines could be involved in a verbal answer?"

Sadly,for those of us who live by a river (or other geographic feature) where the nearest crossing is a 2-3 miles up or down stream, not one of those systems are much use when they always use "as the crow flies" measurements when telling me about all the wonderful results "within 5 miles". A.I.? We've heard of it but never seen a working example.

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Re: Curious to see the answer of the EU

Yes, Autotrader is especially poor for this. Living within 30 miles of South Wales if I search on Autotrader I get loads of vehicles from there even though it's at least 120 miles of driving to get there because of the Bristol Channel!

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Re: Curious to see the answer of the EU

> We've heard of it but never seen a working example.

Any intelligent AI (yes, I know that's what the problem is, but still...) would be able to interface with a satnav as well.

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Re: Curious to see the answer of the EU

"Any intelligent AI (yes, I know that's what the problem is, but still...) would be able to interface with a satnav as well."

In an SF novel I read a year or so ago, they called them AS, not AI. Artificial Stupid because Intelligence is hard to mimic. An AS has a limited "expertise" :-)

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WTF?

Competing is Anti-Competative?

An auction would, “simply create an additional anti-competitive barrier..."

So, what product property do they want to compete on and who measures it, if they don't want to include either money, or who the customer chooses to go to to find things?

It's a very strange state of affairs to fight over real-estate *within* a competitor's shop, and then complain that the shop owner has an unfair advantage.

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Re: Competing is Anti-Competative?

"It's a very strange state of affairs to fight over real-estate *within* a competitor's shop, and then complain that the shop owner has an unfair advantage."

Not really. Unless the shop owner is the only game in town, which is effectively what Google is.

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Re: Competing is Anti-Competative?

Google manifestly is not the only game in town. It may be the only game in town that people actually care to use, but that is a very different matter.

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LDS
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"It may be the only game in town that people actually care to use"

Which was true for Windows as well, wasn't it? Nobody hindered you to use Mac OS, OS/2, Solaris, BSD, or the early version of Linux, or any other OS. Still, Windows was the game 90% of people cared to use... or IE - there were other browsers as well - and without the EU ruling, Chrome would have gone nowhere.

Again: actual EU antitrust law prohibit to use a "monopoly" or "dominant position" (the only game in town people care to use) to hinder competition, even in other sector where the weight of being the dominant actor in a another, yet related one, can be used to stifle competitors.

The request to make money from competitors while still controlling everything - and be exempt from new probes, shows how much Google got used to think to be above the law - think the outrage that would have happened if MS had proposed to be paid to let other browsers into Windows.

A reality - not virtual - check is really needed.

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Re: "It may be the only game in town that people actually care to use"

> Nobody hindered you to use Mac OS, OS/2, Solaris, BSD, or the early version of Linux, or any other OS

Nobody's stopping you using Bing, etc., either.

> and without the EU ruling, Chrome would have gone nowhere.

Given that Microsoft delaying implementing the ruling, then applied it (but only in the EU, not the rest of the world, you'll be astounded to hear), then "forgot" and stopped implementing it... I don't believe Chrome would have been affected, although Firefox got a little benefit, it's true.

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LDS
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"Nobody's stopping you using Bing, etc., either."

Sure.

But Microsoft was fined when it abused its dominance of desktop operating systems to promote its browser, or media player, and was fined also when it attempted to hinder interoperability with its server OS when they was much more dominant than today,

That despite the fact people could have installed and used a different OS, browser, or media player easily if they wanted, just like you can use Bing today - much more easily, for example, than you are allowed on Android today, for example.

Still, it doesn't matter who you achieve a dominant position (as long as it it not illegal), if your are better, cheaper, free, more beautiful, or whatever, and how many fanboys you may have.

Once you did it, your bound to stricter rules, regardless of your name or logo.

Why shouldn't Google be fined today for the same very reasons? Google is the new Microsoft. And because of the data it slurps, even more dangerous (and that's why MS is trying to fill the gap going full slurp mode as well).

Thanks to heaven this side of the Atlantic is not yet all sold to some BigCorp whims... although not a few looks to be ready to sell their souls in exchange of a few free GBs somewhere and a little code.. very cheap, for Google.

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If Google is a Ford, where be the Rolls Royces of AIReality Placement Engines?

The double edged Sword of Damocles always hanging over Google type enterprise is, to not host the finest of the finest whenever excellence is clearly sought and freely available, even if tendered with fees/reward payments, renders and proves the search engine mechanisms faulty ...... and unreliable/untruthful.

Building on sub-prime intelligence and dodgy information has one creating realities no more stable than castles built of shifting sands.

And to know of the problem and alternative virtual reality, and do next to nothing to fix it with IT Command and CyberIntelAIgent Control, allows NEUKlearer Forces and HyperRadioProActive Sources, the Greater IntelAIgent Games Field of Play ...... and identifies a Google in that Situation as Unfit for Future Leading with Immaculate Purpose.

Current IMPertinent Search evolved into Future Perfect Placement is the Goose that lays Golden Faberge Eggs.

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Coat

Re: If Google is a Ford, where be the Rolls Royces of AIReality Placement Engines?

Did you forget your tablets again?

Mine are in my pocket. I hope.

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Drop the Pill, Take the Thrill ...... You Aint Got No Choice in the Matter. Honestly. v2.0

No need to worry, staggers, everything and the Sublime InterNetworking of NEUKlearer Things is progressing just fine.

Do you wish to pass smart comment on the problem shared, and as is the present dilemma and increasing burden for the likes of a Google and Alphabets and search engines with selective and subjective algorithms for virtual terrain teams fearing the advantage of secret discovery and effective universal utility?

Is it to be a future case of ....... It is not just what you know, but who shares it ...... to create and define a more intelligent humanity?

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Unhappy

"Critics argued that it turned punishment into a new revenue stream." Creepy Eric

and friends still not quite getting the idea of these "laws" that people are insisting his company actually obey.

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