Google Is Getting Caught In The Antitrust Net

from ars technica

Being a global company has its perks. There’s a lot of money to be made overseas. But the biggest US tech companies are finding out that there’s also a downside: every country where you make money is a country that could try to regulate you.

It’s hard to keep track of all the tech-related antitrust action happening around the world, in part because it doesn’t always seem to be worth paying close attention to. In Europe, which has long been home to the world’s most aggressive regulators, Google alone was hit with a $2.7 billion fine in 2017, a $5 billion fine in 2018, and a $1.7 billion fine in 2019. These sums would be devastating for most companies, but they are little more than rounding errors for a corporation that reported $61.9 billion in revenue last quarter.

Increasingly, however, foreign countries are going beyond slap-on-the-wrist fines. Instead, they’re forcing tech companies to change how they do business. In February, Australia passed a law giving news publishers the right to negotiate payments from dominant Internet platforms—effectively, Facebook and Google. In August, South Korea became the first country to pass a law forcing Apple and Google to open their mobile app stores to alternate payment systems, threatening their grip on the 30 percent commission they charge developers. And in a case with potentially huge ramifications, Google will soon have to respond to the Turkish competition authority’s demand to stop favoring its own properties in local search results.

The consequences of cases like these can ripple far beyond the borders of the country imposing the new rule, creating natural experiments that regulators in other countries might emulate. The fact that Google and Facebook have acquiesced to Australia’s media bargaining code, for example, might accelerate similar efforts in other countries, including Taiwan, Canada, and even the US. Luther Lowe, who as Yelp’s senior vice president of public policy has spent more than a decade lobbying for antitrust action against Google, refers to this phenomenon, approvingly, as “remedy creep.”

More here.

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24 Comments

  1. Before reading the article, I never really thought about how an international search engine could face legal issues, such as the one that Google is currently facing with Turkey. According to Investopedia.com, “antitrust laws are statutes developed by governments to protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition. Antitrust laws are applied to a wide range of questionable business activities, including market allocation, bid rigging, price fixing, and monopolies.” After reading the article, I feel that Turkey is viewing Google as a monopolistic power company due to the vast amount of control it has when it comes to the world wide web. Since Google is a dominant search engine, the company has been abusing their power in order to manipulate the search results in order to cater to themselves or even their business partners. For example, Google; can and has been filtering out select search results in order to show more results from their own personal entities; instead of other alternatives, in order to boost their own sales. After finding out that Google has experienced this lawsuit more than once, I am surprised that Google hasn’t learned from their own mistakes. With that being said, I also feel that Google is disregarding these lawsuits by just forking up the money, because at the end of the day, the money in which they are being sued for, isn’t even close to what they are making of this business practice.
    According to the article the “Turkish law makers have concluded that google “has violated article 6 of the Turkish Competition Law by abusing its dominant position in the general search services market to promote its local searches and accommodation price comparison services in a way to exclude its competitors. I find this accusation to be very interesting because I never considered how Google can or will manipulate search results in order to line their own pockets. I personally believe that google shouldn’t manipulate the search results to favor themselves because google preaches that they ‘generate the best search results for the consumers’, but I feel like it is the other way around to a certain degree. With that being said, Google most certainly holds the rights to promote things that benefit them because at the end of the day, it is their search engine and that they need to promote things that will benefit themselves in order to maximize their profits. With that being said, it shouldn’t be to the monopolistic extent that it currently is. What I mean by this is that Google must integrate other alternatives into their algorithm more than they already have been in order to avoid problems like this later down the road. This lawsuit can be a pretty decent sized hit on googles user basis because “Turkey has a population of about 85 million people” which is a decently sized market that Google would miss out on.
    I found this article to go hand and hand with what I am currently learning in one of my classes at the moment. From my understanding, Venue is the legal concept that defines the most appropriate location for the trial within a jurisdiction. Typically, state statutes provide that venue in a civil case is where the defendant resides or is headquartered. With that being said, I believe that this lawsuit should abide by Turkish laws due to Google being a global corporation which operates in multiple countries, despite the fact that Google is headquartered in the United States.

    Sources:
    Chen, James. “Understanding Antitrust Laws.” Investopedia. Investopedia, 29 May 2021. Web. 21 Sept. 2021.
    Gilead Edelman, Wired.com – Sep 18. “Google Is Getting Caught in the Antitrust Net.” Ars Technica. 18 Sept. 2021. Web. 21 Sept. 2021.
    Melvin, Sean P., and F. E. Guerra-Pujol. The Legal Environment of Business: A Managerial Approach: Theory to Practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2021. Print.

  2. Google for many years now has asserted their global dominance. This trillion-dollar company does indeed have to find ways to create a good profit for their shareholders. The article did state and explained how they would filter results and “Google unfairly uses its dominance to steer local search results to its own offerings”. I personally do not see a particular problem with this aspect of Googles operations. Google being a company must find ways to generate revenue as they are a free service to the public. To me it is no different than opening up Instagram and finding some ads for certain products as you use their site. Plus be in a free market the consumer can always choose to use a separate search engine or company to store their data. Nothing is forcing you to use Google. With this being said, I am not sure what the actual legality of some of their operations are. Their article pointed out multiple different times that Google was no. That part does fascinate me, and I do want to learn more about the legalities. However, what I don’t like that Google does is what they do with storing users’ personal data. With online information foreign markets being so profitable in this day and age. As the article stated, this means that Alphabet inc. has and will change the way that they have to operate themselves. This can be a bit concerning as Google holds and conducts a lot of their operations in China. I would consider China to be even more than an adversary, and a country whose interest the opposite of American success currently. I do wish that The US government could find a way to establish illegality in companies like Google manipulating and distributing our data to hostile foreign powers. Even if it is minor google has to much of an impact to let any of that slide. It is the most used website in the world, and as the article stated, 50% of google searches never lead to a separate website. Any company that operates with this much power over the information and data of the world population must make better strides to provide and protect it.

  3. Google is one of the largest companies and the largest search engine holding 60% of industry revenue each year, with a large market share and revenue comes power in the choices they made. This article discusses that Google is getting hit with different cases of antitrust, defined as “statutes developed by governments t protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition”. All of these cases have to do with the unfair competition that is taking place. Countries like Australia have paved the way for the current cases. They passed a law giving news outlets the ability to negotiate pay from Google, which before Google was paying them nothing. This is entirely changing the makeup of how Google operates.

    This case with Turkey has to do with local searches consumer do on Google and how a majority of the searches are Google based. Yelp, who started this case in Turkey argues that a good majority of searches come from Google and you rarely see anything from similar providers like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Turkey had already lost a case they submitted in 2018 where they stated that Google Shopping was overpowering the other businesses and Google decided to pull Google Shopping from Turkey. This new case is on a larger scale and with Turkey having a large population it can effect the market share and revenue of Google. This case is yet to be settled but will have a big impact on the future of internet searches.

    In this article it stated how much money Google was being fined each time an infraction occurred. In three consecutive years they were fined $9.4 billion dollars but made over $61.9 billion dollars in revenue in one quarter. While to a consumer that seems like a lot of money to Google that is a small amount that they will pay to ensure they keep their strategy. All companies have a strategy, or a plan of action, in the legal environment their are four main types noncompliance, avoidance, prevention and value creation. In this case Google is following a noncompliance strategy because the fines they are receiving are no where near the annual or yearly revenue they make. When you search on Google 50% of the page is all generate from and by Google which Google states that it helps the end user and does not help their revenue stream. While this worked for many years, countries like Turkey are now filing case with more ramifications then fines because Google has not changed it was. Overall Google has to think of its legal obligations as they continue to grow larger than just fines.

  4. After reading this article by Gilead Edelman, I could honestly say that while most readers might be surprised, I was not. In summary, this article talks about how other countries have been squeezing and fining Google, for promoting their online services on their search engine over the actual preferred companies. For example, Google has their review service pop up first in the search results, when Yelp is the better, more used service. Again, this does not surprise me, due to how much power Google has over individuals. They are one of the most commonly used search engines, if not the most common used, and have a plethora of other services such as Google Drive and Google Maps. The majority of companies cannot even touch Google if they have an issue, never mind individuals who have a problem with their services. The article even states how fines up to five-billion dollars did not faze this company, considering they are doing over sixty million dollars in revenue per quarter. So, if companies like Yelp, are upset that Google is overriding their services with their own, what are they going to do? For one, they are not big enough to argue a company like Google, and they probably would have not gotten as much exposure as they did in the first place if it wasn’t for Google’s well known search engine. Come to think of it, I couldn’t see why Google wouldn’t push their services over the other competition. If I was in their position, I would be doing the same exact thing. All of these other companies are on my platform to begin with, and if they do not like it there really isn’t anything they can do to stop me. This whole ideology can even be applied to other monster companies, like Apple and Facebook. All these companies have so much power and leverage, that they really can never be punished for their poor actions.

  5. I found this article by Gilead Edelman very interesting because I personally pay attention to the changes in Google’s design and search options frequently. Although I’ve noticed these changes, I never really knew how and why some features were the way that they were. In the past five years or so, the Google search bar and mobile app have become much more intuitive, and the personalization options have expanded exponentially. In the specific case discussed in this article involving Turkey, the competition has taken issue with Google’s favoring of its own properties in local search results. I agree with this Turkish competitor, and any other competition worldwide that have a problem with Google prioritizing the wrong results. The results of a Google search should be prioritized based on relevancy and helpfulness, not Google-specific offers before anything else. As the article mentioned, nearly half of all Google searches fall under the category of “local search.” Edelman posed the situation, “Think about how, if you search on Google for “Chinese restaurant,” the top of the results page will probably feature a widget that Google calls the OneBox” (arstechnica.com). I can admit that when I search for something simple on Google, more than half of the answers come from this OneBox feature and I seldom scroll further down the page for a more in-depth answer. While this process is quick and easy, I should also be seeing the top organic results – apart from Google’s own answers.
    Every year, Google faces billions of dollars in fines from regulators in various countries that the company makes money in. Google will remain a global company and will only continue to expand their horizons, which will have its upsides and downsides. In 2020 alone, Google’s revenue was about $180 billion. While these fines from regulators may hurt them financially, the effect is minimal when put in perspective. While I understand that Google has to give its best effort to maximize profits and push their own products and services as much as possible, that does not justify unfairly prioritizing information to users. I am not complaining about Google’s convenience, but I am able to recognize that this is not fair from an ethical standpoint and that information should not be altered simply to help themselves.

  6. Google is a service that most, if not all of us use every day. Whether it be on our phones, laptops, or even smart TV, Google dominates our daily lives without us even realizing it. Reading this article made me think a lot of things I don’t normally think about. The first being just how often we use Google. Oftentimes when I open my laptop to do work, I type something into the search bar at the top of the screen and press enter, not realizing that I’m using Google. This made me realize how much I take their service for granted. The fact that information is so readily available at this day and age with the push of a button is pretty incredible even if we don’t realize it very often.

    Another thing I never noticed or thought about is how the first results that show up in the ‘OneBox’ are all from Google. It never occurred to me that Google was purposely showing their results first. At first, I thought that it was truly unfair to yelp to be overshadowing their web traffic since it probably reduces the number of people that visit their page significantly. In the article, Google stated that they are not purposely doing this, but rather just using their algorithm to show users the most useful results first. When referring back to my own experiences with the Google One Box, I noticed that the information displayed in the One Box actually is more useful than that of yelp. I have never had to click on any other link besides the ones that Google provides for me at the top of the screen. I believe that Google is in the right here and should be able to do this because it is very clear to me that it truly does provide the most useful and relevant information related to a search.

    Aside from those two thoughts, I do think that it is important for countries to regulate large corporations that hold so much power such as Google. If these companies weren’t regulated, they would simply be allowed to do practically whatever they want. While this doesn’t seem terrible at first glance, these companies are only going to keep getting bigger and more powerful every day until eventually the power that they hold in our everyday lives will be far too much. While it’s impossible to predict what may happen, it is still important to have guidelines to make sure that no company holds too much power.

  7. Google’s competitors feel so powerless that they are now trying to get google to show them first when they search for something in google. No company in the world wouldn’t want Google’s power right now; they can have their most effective marketing campaign for free. Their biggest advertising platform is their platform. I’m afraid I have to disagree with Google’s competitors, and why they want to sue them, Google has a better product and gives the consumers exactly what they want. Competitors have to understand that if they don’t offer something better than Google, people will use Google. Their trying to sue Google only shows that their only way to get to the consumer is through scandals, which should be illegal. They are trying to discredit Google making them go to court every time they can; they are trying to put a bad name on a company that has done almost everything right in the last 20 years, a company that has made the perfect product. Google has to be demanding their competitors to put a bad name on Google, but they don’t need it; they are already at the top of the market and far away from their competitors.

  8. When a company is big enough to global, it is with expectation that there will be endless revenue, only propelling the business forward. This article states that in actuality, there are serious repercussions in starting to do business across boarders. Google is one perfect example of this, as the company has faced a serious amount of cons in foreign countries. For example, over the last five years, Google has faced $9.4 billion in fines from Europe, while also being forced to conform to laws in countries like Australia and South Korea. These numbers are staggering, but when you realize that the company made $61.9 billion last quarter alone, one could understand how the company is still afloat. There is, however, an ongoing case in Turkey which could seriously be a detriment to Google’s future. In this case, Yelp is suing Google, trying to fore the company to change the way its search engine operates. Yelp has an interesting argument, saying that Google is altering internet search traffic. The example that Gilead Edelman, author of this article gives is, “Think about how, if you search on Google for “Chinese restaurant,” the top of the results page will probably feature a widget that Google calls the OneBox. It will include a section of Google Maps and a few Google reviews of Chinese restaurants near you.” This way of filtering all users back to Google is essentially steering users away from other websites that may have answers, reviews, etc. that are better equipped. Yelp has won this case and Google is being fined $36 million, and they are being forced to change the way their search engine operates in Turkey. This in itself does not seem like a big deal, but what is stopping other countries from looking at the results Turkey experiences, and forcing Google to similarly change. This could become a domino-effect situation in which Google could be devastated. As of now, Google is formulating a solution, yet they have not proposed anything yet. Who knows how far this could go, but I believe Yelp is making the right decision in trying to hurt Google’s future rather than fining them fractions of their revenue.

  9. This article made me realize how powerful Google has become. Over the years, I have noticed how intuitive and advanced their search engine is but, never thought anything of it. Google has been using their influence on its users searches for years now. Gilead Edelman writes this article to show how other countries and companies have tried to regulate the power that Google has had over other people’s search results. An example of this is when Google promoted itself through Google shopping. Turkish authorities did not approve for Google to use its influence to put themselves over other competitors shopping sites. So as the article states, “That gave Google a choice: come back with a solution the regulators would accept, or pull the plug on Google Shopping in Turkey”. Google ended up shutting down the service in Turkey so that they wouldn’t have to change their system. This encounter occurred in 2018 but, as of right now Google faces cases from multiple countries that are trying to force Google to change the way that they conduct their business. One of the bigger cases that caught my eye was another recent problem with Turkey in which they demanded that Google stopped favoring itself in local search results. This is something that I have seen Google do for years but, Edelman goes in depth when explaining the situation. The article states that, “The case is about what’s called local search, like when you look for “restaurants near me” or “hardware store.” This is a huge category of search traffic—nearly half of all Google searches, according to some analysts. Google’s critics and competitors have long complained that Google unfairly uses its dominance to steer local search results to its own offerings, even when that might not be the most helpful result”. This then made Yelp, one of Google’s search engine competitors, start a case involving Turkey to try to complain against what Google does in its search results. Google ended up getting fined $36 million before the decision was made, however the problem with fining Google is that the have been getting fined for years now and because of how big Google is they have more than enough money to keep paying off these fines. In a result of this case being issued onto Google the article states that, “The authority issued a preliminary ruling ordering Google to come up with a way of displaying local search results that doesn’t favor itself over competitors”, so now in due time Google will have to respond to the Turkish authorities request. I understand that the gap between Google and its competitors is large or could be considered as unfair, so I do believe that some form of regulation could be useful. Sometimes what pops up in Google’s OneBox is not always helpful and others could benefit from seeing many other options besides what Google throws in your face.

  10. Tech Giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple are known for their global presence. All three of these major tech Giants have a presence in almost every country on the planet. Most places with your present is they profit more and then they lose because of currency differentials and other factors that increase the amount of money they make while limiting the amount of money that is being spent. This is some thing that not only took the Giants do but other big corporations that make things like clothes and other countries to pay workers a small amount in dollars but a hefty amount in their respective currency. Also, companies that rely on the growth of things like tobacco or crocs do the same. Paying people in other countries to do hard labor that would be too costly to pay for in the United States. Anti-trusts can become a big barrier for these tech Giants because it will limit and restrict them from doing certain things that work in their favor. Some countries see the laws and actions that other countries are takin to control the presence of these tech giants then they also feel the need to take action and do something similar in order to benefit themselves. The level of restrictions and boundaries that are set by these anti-trusts is something that these tech giants will have to try and find their way around, which is something that they are certainly capable of.

  11. There are several search engines on the internet, but what is the one thing that everyone says when they want to find information online? “Google it.” Google is a tech giant that has become synonymous with the internet. Antitrust laws are laws that protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition. In the recent news, Google has been getting caught up with violating these laws and having to pay billions of dollars in fines. According to the article, the amounts that Google was fined were mere slaps on the wrist to them being that they raked in over $60 billion last quarter.

    Looking further into the article, we see how countries like Australia, South Korea, and Turkey are going beyond the “slap-in-the-wrist fines” and changing the law to force companies like Apple and Google to change the way they do business, preventing them from violating antitrust laws. For example, The Turkish competition authority is demanding that Google stops favoring its own properties in local search results. They do not want all the top results on internet searches to be posted by Google. Google claims that they are not doing this on purpose and that their links are truly the most accurate. If this is the case, then Google may not even be violating the law in the first place.

    If the United States were to act on this matter of Antitrust, the United States Supreme Court would certainly need to be involved. Since Google is used by United States citizens, the case would fall into their jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is a court’s authority to decide a particular case based on who the parties are (which would be Google and the people of America) and the subject matter of the dispute which would be antitrust. Therefore, as each country decides how they are going to take legal action to protect internet users from predatory business practices, there will continue to be multiple cases against Google across the globe.

    I think that this is the correct way to go about enforcing antitrust laws because it moves away form charging big companies fines that do not even make them think twice about violating the law again. The end goal of these countries building antitrust cases, is to not just give Google a timeout for violating the law; it is to force Google and other big dominant companies to level the playing field with all of the other media sources on the internet.

  12. U.S companies often move overseas in order to make more revenue by reducing costs severely in other countries. For example, Nike is able to produce a shirt in Asia for less of the cost in the United States. Countries should be able to regulate these big companies but also shouldn’t put absurd regulations into play. Google is a powerhouse company that holds the number one used search engine and it is not a surprise to anyone these days. I use Google all the time because it’s so simple to use and programs like google classroom and docs are all accessible in one place. While reading this article I was shocked to see how hefty these fines were to Google but seeing the numbers on their quarterly revenue certainly brought me back down to my senses. Google has the power to influence and impact events as well as the money to fight off the lawsuits thrown it’s way. Other corporations are suing google for money that doesn’t even compare to the amount they generate in revenue. It doesn’t come as a shock to me that Google can promote whatever they want when they want through the search engine and results page. Google promotes its business partners and associates to receive their share of profits and keep expanding even more. I read an article online on Cnet by Richard Nieva called, “Google’s Three Antitrust Battles: Here’s What You Need To Know”. This article provided me with insight that Google pays device makers to establish its search engine as default on devices. I’m curious to see how Google will respond to Turkish authority and if they will be regulated under stricter rules. Big corporations like Google and Facebook need to have their power kept in check because they shouldn’t be able to exceed their powers and abuse them.

  13. Platforms like Google and Facebook are a main element in social construct of information, research, entertainment, etc. Since these companies play a huge role in digital society across the globe. It does not surprise me that they are penalized with hefty fines in which they are expected to reform.

    However many fail to realize that these fines are incomparable to the actual revenue these companies make. And it is unfortunate because these companies are the exact companies, in which many claim are invading the privacy of users.

    Even though these companies get these complaints, the reality is we can’t really do anything about it, even though we have high expectations on them to change their policies on their platforms.

    Yet we see from this article that different countries are expecting allot more restrictions in terms of privacy from Google, like Turkey. Which may affect googles full potential. Many are in favor for the initial intention of platforms like Google and Facebook because they make life easier, yet many claim they are exceeding their limit and they should be held accountable.

  14. The article “Google Is Getting Caught In The Antitrust Net” talks about how big tech companies are getting caught in laws and fines from different countries since they are global businesses. Google and Facebook are the big companies that are being referred to. In my opinion these problems are not going to get better anytime soon. Never before in history has there ever been companies this big. This is due to technologies advancing. Tech companies never existed before, and because of that there will be problems that have never before existed. It is important to remember how there will be more tech companies that will also be dealing with these problems, such as Amazon, tik tok, and more. These companies are worth billions and will deal with these problems as well.

  15. In recent years, antitrust laws have become more and more prominent with how they are impacting the tech industry. At the center of this, Google, a tech industry titan, has been one of the many companies that have been subject to antitrust legislation and the penalties involved with becoming too large. In Europe in particular, Google has recently been fined billions of dollars for violating antitrust laws and for monopolistic practices. When companies like Google become too large this can be a threat to the marketplace because they will be able to use their size to eliminate their competitors and create an effective monopoly in their market. In order to combat this, governments have laid out antitrust laws to protect consumers and to encourage competition among businesses to prevent unfair manipulation of a market or an unrestricted monopoly.

    This concept is an increasingly important one in the area of business law and especially in international business law because every country approaches this issue differently and the consequences of monopolistic practices vary greatly depending on the government that is in charge. For example, in areas like Europe and China where regulations are stricter, companies will have to face higher fines and more threats to their firm from a legal standpoint. A recent example of this is China’s Ant Group as they have been hit even harder from legislation and more fines than Google. However, in countries like the United States, the government often does not intervene until there is quite a large threat of monopolistic practices.

    Overall this issue does not have a definitive conclusion or right or wrong answer. This issue is one that will likely be contested well into the future despite its long history. Antitrust laws have been around for many years, but new tech companies threatening to create monopolies with certain digital products and resources will complicate the precedent of antitrust laws. Google’s hold on the world’s premier search engine and the results that come out of it are a very powerful business force and could be used in various ways to favor products or services that are provided by Google like in the case of the current legal battle in Turkey. This issue is still being fought and will likely continue in different forms into the future much like the issue of antitrust law as a whole. As new companies form and new industries become prominent, antitrust law will always have to be refined and molded to fit the current situation. In today’s case of Google, governments will likely try to control Google’s stranglehold on the most popular search engine in the world.

  16. Google is a global company that makes a lot of money for itself overseas. As a tech company Google has to ensure that its platform is easy to use, as well as they must be sure of the safety of the platform. In countries overseas, there are different laws and regulations for what can and cannot be used online. If a company is to go against the policies and laws set by certain countries then the company can receive massive fines. These fines are in the billions of dollars.

    Countries are taking these laws even more seriously now and essentially are trying to change how big tech companies do their business. The foreign countries want publishers to be able to negotiate with big companies for the work they do. A company like Google usually just pays a publisher however they like and seem to claim as if the work is their own. Another example of Google taking advantage of their power and technology is making top search results whatever they want instead of having the best suited websites for the specific search.

    Google’s actions overseas have caused its competitors to call them out on their wrongs. Yelp, one of Google’s competitors, called out Google for its actions in Turkey. Yelp explained that Google used the searches of people to help “pad their bottomline.” This means that Google was spitting out search results intending to only benefit the company’s financial status rather than to give its user an accurate search experience. This act also violates Turkish law, so Turkey fined Google $36 million.

    Actions like the ones Google have had overseas makes the world want to overthrow big US tech companies. People are not willing to let these big companies take over their lives and force feed them information they are not looking for.

  17. European countries are simply trying to moderate Google in my opinion because they are a U.S based company. These countries are upset that a tech powerhouse such as google comes from the U.S. and is controlling their network traffic and data by the minute, I am no nationalist, but I do not care where the tech company is based- I don’t want anyone controlling and monitoring my data, let alone another country. So, I feel for these European countries, but google is running the world and it is simply too late to try and regulate them. Google is in other words “To big to fail” so no matter what kind of fines you impose, there is no getting rid of google. In 2021 I can’t even begin to imagine a world without google, google maps, google play, etc. Google has implemented a culture in which the world can’t get rid of if they wanted to. While these countries are trying to regulate and impose fines, their lawyers are using google to look up questions and answers that can benefit their case. Imagine having to use the opposition’s creation to try and regulate and fine them. That just goes to show you how big google is. “And in a case with potentially huge ramifications, Google will soon have to respond to the Turkish competition authority’s demand to stop favoring its own properties in local search results.” Google is a private company; you do not have to use it if you do not want to. You can simply use another search engine, but then again you must google another search engine because many people can’t even name one off the top of their head. Which again goes to show the power google holds on the minds and the grip it holds on to the world. In my opinion google is doing exactly what a private company is allowed to do… and that is promote itself and the new things is has to offer. How can people who have the luxury of being able to use google dare to question why they are doing what they are doing and want to show google how to run their own company. You wouldn’t ask a restaurant to change their special of the day why? Because it is their restaurant, and they can choose what ever they want to serve.

  18. Google is one of the largest and most well-known companies in the entire world. Almost every single person has heard of Google and uses their search engine or products every day. Since Google is a global company that is so widespread, it operates in several different countries. While having such a large reach is beneficial for business and making profits, there is also an increased chance for regulation of anti-trust laws. Google has been receiving large fines in these different countries across Europe for violations of anti-trust laws.

    These laws are designed to keep companies for taking control or using their business power unfairly. Google uses its power as a large company to influence searches, much like they did in Turkey. Google was misusing their power by overtaking the local search tool to point users towards their products. Google has been accused of doing this in the past, and continues to grab full control over search engines.

    Google has violated anti-trust laws that were put in place by Congress to stop any monopolies or infringements on fair trade. They are going against these regulations by trying to take full control of all search engines. Even though the company is large and very powerful, it does not have the right to control the market and try to overtake the actions of consumers.

    The countries that are regulating Google are all European, highlighting the difference between them and the opinions of U.S. companies. The view on monopolies and trade policies differs throughout the world. This is extremely evident based on the dissatisfaction of European companies. Many European countries have harsher laws and standards when it comes to businesses. Countries overseas often regulate businesses more than the United States does. The increased regulation in other countries shows the difference in policies and the way in which businesses are run.

    Business ethics are viewed differently in other parts of the world. The morals of individuals are all different, changing the views on business policies. Clarity in business operations can vary, and so can ethical decision making. What someone views as ethically okay in a business setting can be seen as unethical from someone else’s perspective.

    Google is in legal trouble in the European countries, like Turkey, who do not believe that the company’s actions are ethical. The U.S. tech companies have overtaken the world, but many European countries are unhappy with this. While Google does have a large influence and uses it, the U.S. does not see their influence as an issue, other countries do. Turkey believe that what Google is doing violates anti-trust laws, and is simply looking to gain back control of the tech market.

    Despite these differing opinions there is no concrete verdict that deems Google as guilty or non-guilty. The matters of business ethics are different for all, and what some people believe is not what others see. Anti-trust laws are put into place to promote fairness, but this idea is viewed differently by all. Different nations will always dispute over matters like this, especially when it comes to large companies like Google.

  19. With the US having many global companies they are often regulated by the countries that they do their business in. Large companies are getting fined billions of dollars for breaking regulations that they aren’t even sure they broke with all of the different antitrust regulations that are enforced by each country. Some of these countries are causing companies to completely change the way that they do their business. The regulations effect business not only in the respective countries but also other places around the world in both positive and negative ways. The center point of this article involves the antitrust rules in Turkey. The debate involves how google’s “Closest restaurant near me” or “Theatre near me” features are considered rigged in a way where specific businesses are put above others, they are claiming that these same engines are used in the business search system. Although Google denies these accusations Turkey has found Google for violating “Article 6 of the Turkish Competition Law” by abusing its dominant position in the general search services market to promote its local search and accommodations price comparison services in a way to exclude its competitors. The Turkish government gave google a choice to find a way for google to make their search engine one that their regulations would accept, or pull the plug on their business on Google Shopping with Turkey. Turkey has not been fining Google as harshly as countries like Europe. With all of this said I want to analyze what I would do if I was in googles shoes. Personally, based on the money that they are fining, I would continue with google’s current plan. If the Turkish government doesn’t want the one of the worlds largest companies to be a part of their country I think that would be a mistake on their part. Google is gonna favor themselves because it is their company which is fair in my opinion. It not like they are getting rid of other businesses, they are just trying to make the most business for themselves. Just having your business on google results probably boosts the odds of people even finding the business so it should be beneficial for the small business that they are claiming are getting unfair treatment.

  20. I am under the firm impression that antitrust laws are a good thing. Disregarding the global stage for a moment, America has for a long time been a breeding ground for unfair and predatory business practices. From the inception of this economy, America has faced a variety of issues concerning monopolies, consumer abuse, and an immense power imbalance within just about every transaction. Anecdotally, Google has one of the worst customer service systems our of any company of its size. They care incredibly little for their consumers, as they hold such a big chokehold on the market that they simply do not have to care. They have long stood at the very top of all internet related activity, from video sharing, emails, to even accessing the world wide web. In this case, I am not surprised that the international community is cracking down on this seemingly monopolized platform to give the underdogs a chance. There is quite literally no valid competitor to google at the current moment in time, so restricting the amount that Google can self-promote is probably a good idea. Whether or not this plan dominoes to other countries, we will have to see. More than likely, however, European countries will be following suit to some degree, as they have always been at the forefront of restrictive action. Some would argue that doing this sort of action would never happen in the US, as we try to maintain some semblance of a free-market. Government regulation has long been a strongly opposed talking point within US politics. Unlike the rest of the planet, America seems to have a distinct interest in keeping companies incredibly powerful, as the government rarely makes any impactful rules for larger corporations. I find it quite interesting how terrified Americans are of government intervention, as if every other facet of their lives isn’t already being invaded. If anything, acting in the interest of the society and curbing the encroaching power of trans-national corporations would be amazing. A domino effect around the globe that takes the power away from trans-national corporations like Google would not only benefit the consumer, but it would also extend the market to the little guys: the smaller or often overlooked businesses that are simply overshadowed by their much larger and more expansive counterparts. whatever the case may be, I hope that the world follows suit based on Turkey’s decision.

  21. The article, “Google is Getting Caught in the Antitrust Net” refers to how technology companies such as Google and Facebook are getting caught by foreign countries for violating their antitrust laws. Specifically, Google has received multiple billion-dollar fines from international regulators; yet, still continues to run its business the way it currently does. The article highlights an event that occurred in Turkey, where Google violated Article 6 of the Turkish Competition Law. According to some business owners in Turkey, Google has abused its position “…in the general search services market to promote its local search and accommodation price comparison services in a way to exclude its competitors” (Edelman 9). Basically, Google is favoring the services it provides over its fellow competitors. So, if a user wanted to look up a restaurant near them, Google would only display results that favor their own market.

    From this situation, Turkey gave Google two alternatives: either to become a search engine that would meet the regulations of their laws or to stop further business deals with their country. As of right now, the case is still in limbo and Google has not responded yet with what they are going to do. If I were to predict Google’s response, I do not think they fear cutting business relations with Turkey. Google makes billions of dollars in one quarter alone, the article depicting $61.9 billion in revenue; therefore, I do not think it would hurt Google too much. Furthermore, I think that it would be a mistake for Turkey to end their affiliation with Google because it is one of the world’s largest technology companies. Not only would they make a profit using Google’s services, but Google could also put their country on the map. I can also see the perspective that Google wants to increase their own business, so if they display companies that make Google more of a profit more than others, then that is something that is not surprising to me. On the other hand, I do not think that small businesses should not be so underrepresented.

    Obviously, as people start to rely on technology more and more, problems like this are just going to be regular. Big technology companies like Google and Facebook are some of the biggest companies in history; as a result, there are very limited laws and regulations that they need to follow. With new companies and new technologies popping up, there need to be more laws that regulate certain aspects of their company to make sure they are being ethical.

  22. I found this article to be very interesting. I was unaware of the battles for anti-trust happening around the world. Additionally, I did not even think about the fact that international companies can and are regulated by the countries they move into. I think that this is overlooked by the masses who do not have a clear understanding of what global companies actually encounter. The article discusses how countries are moving beyond the slap-on-the-wrist punishments and instead of forcing companies to alter how they operate within that countries borders. Now, I completely agree with the need for antitrust laws; however, I believe that they should be standardized. I believe that the best way to control competition is by making all the companies play by the same rules. However, it is also unfair to make one company change aspects of how it operates. I say this only because if it were a smaller less known company I doubt that they would be held to the same company.
    Google is not the only company that moves its own advertisements to the top. I believe that all companies do that, whether we know it or not. If you were to go on to ShopRite’s website and search for milk, the top results are Bowl & Basket with is ShopRite’s own brand. At the very least, Google labels advertisements so they can be differentiated from actual results. Furthermore, I do not see why Google’s reviews showing up first would be such a big issue for yelp besides the fact they would prefer to be at the top. I am curious to see how this case will play out, as well as, how it affected antitrust policies in other countries. However, I am also curious as to how this policy will be upheld because as I said earlier, all of these companies do the same things, but they are not all as large or popular as Google. Does this mean that the antitrust laws do not apply to these smaller companies or that they should not be held to the same standards because they play only a small role in the competition scheme?
    The article also talked about how this ruling will set the conversation for other countries about how they can ultimately manipulate these large companies into benefiting that country. This is again why I believe it would be better to push for global standardized antitrust laws. If we want to limit competition, should we not make all companies, big or small, play by the same rules? Maybe I am thinking about this the wrong way, but the situation between Yelp! and Google seems unfair. Google has its own reviews, so why should they not be able to put theirs first? Yelp! would do the same if they were in Google’s position.
    This is definitely news that I will stay up to date on as I am very interested in seeing how the case progresses.

  23. This article by Gilead Edelman discusses the problem that Google is facing when dealing with the antitrust net. Overall, my main takeaway from this article was realizing how big Google has gotten over the years. In Europe, which has some of the world’s most aggressive regulators, Google was hit with what would seem like some substantial fines. According to the article, “Google alone was hit with a $2.7 billion fine in 2017, a $5 billion fine in 2018, and a $1.7 billion fine in 2019.” While that seems like a hefty fine on face value, that does not even make a dent for Google, a company that reported $61.9 billion in revenue. This was very eye-opening for me because it just made me recognize how enormous Google has gotten. Most people do not even realize how much they use Google. Whether it is on a laptop, cell phone, or tablet, most people use Google on a daily basis, and we often take it for granted. In addition, I thought that it was interesting how the companies mentioned that other countries that want to regulate are all American countries. The article discussed how countries like Turkey, South Korea, and Australia are trying to change the way companies like Apple, Google and Facebook do business. Apple, Google, and Facebook are all United States-based companies, and I do not think that is a coincidence. I believe that many countries realize that U.S-based companies are controlling their network, and they are uncomfortable with that. I think that Australia’s new law that gives news publishers the right to negotiate payments from dominant internet platforms; South Korea’s law forcing Apple and Google open their mobile app stores to alternate payment systems, threatening their grip on the 30 percent commission they charge developers; and the Turkish competition authority’s demand to stop Google from favoring its own properties in local search results is all a method to regain control over the network because they are uncomfortable with U.S. based companies having so much power over them. Overall, I think that this article is very fascinating, and it opened my eyes as to how much power some of these companies have.

  24. Over the past 20 years, Google has become a household name, integrating itself into almost every citizen’s daily life. Although the search engine platform should be commended for their positive impact on the world by providing instant information at the press of a button, there are some potentially scary ramifications on society for being the monopoly of information that they are. One major potential issue arises in the fact that they could control the stream of information as the sole gatekeepers of internet content. Meaning, they could play a hand in pushing information they want people to see and withholding information they do not want people to see. With the endless amount of information on the internet that could be searched for, Google uses what they call a ranking system “to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for” (https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/algorithms/). These ranking systems are based on a series of algorithms that factor in the words of your search, relevance of pages, credibility of sources, your location, etc. Not only do they determine what is “relevant” to your search, but they also play a role in determining the credibility or “expertise” of the sources they put in front of your face. This guiding hand on Google’s behalf has the ability to affect businesses all over the world. Look at the case in Turkey, for example, where Google may have used its local search results to navigate people to its own choice of restaurant instead of using more organic data to point people in the right direction. This would be a clear cut case of how Google can control – or at the least influence – people’s consumption behavior in their favor, whether it be restaurants or information in general.

    But one thing that holds Google accountable both here and abroad is Antitrust laws. These laws – whose purpose is to promote competition and prevent monopolies from pursuing unfair business practices – hold the massive corporation’s feet to the fire, usually through fines and regulation. Much like the United States where Google was founded, each country the monopoly does business in has their own set of laws and customs that the company has to cooperate with. Luckily it seems as if a ruling or fine in one country is successful, it tends to translate globally. And whether it be on Google’s part to shift their business model, or other countries’ part to emulate the success of others, we should all agree that these laws are justified in keeping a massive monopolistic force from getting out of hand.

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