As of today, the EU intends to take Google into court for unfair competition practices. The deal?
In practical numbers, Google throughout Europe has ninety-percent of the search business in their pocket. Doesn't matter which country you talk about.....it's generally the same throughout most. For the EU.....it means that no start-up operation anywhere in Europe has a chance to crack the business shell open.
There are three aspects to the coming event.
First, the EU knows Google is making a ton of money.....so there's got to be a unfair practice phase to this and some cash flow (pay-off) to the EU. The current thought is that a billion dollars will be sufficient. Several journalists have suggested the amount is what the EU will seek because they know the profit margins of Google's business. What the EU does with the billion dollars? That might be a curious question to ask.
Second, the EU wants some type of deal on what shows up when you type in a word or phrase. Google currently has their people in the middle and ranks the outcome of search via their own strategy. The EU wants part of that control.
Third, the EU wants some door open for other companies to enter the search engine business. Presently, I don't think any start-up group in France, Germany or central Europe.....intends to put man-hours or funding toward this type of research. Why bother? If you can't break into the system and get a decent cut of maybe twenty-percent of your own country's search business.....it won't be profitable enough to make it worth your time.
Amount of time dragging Google through the court business? Figure a minimum of a year and it might even go two years. Google will shuffle around some funds and eventually pay off the EU bureaucrats and everyone will proudly show up on camera to say they've punished the 'evil giant', and they accepted the check for one billion. Then a week later, they will shuffle the money out to pay for a weasel museum in Belgium, four bridges in Poland, a new opera house in Vienna, a prison in Spain, a new soccer stadium in Ireland, and a new cable car deal in Bavaria. The signs for each ought to feature their existence being possible only because of Google and it's damn search engine.
Perhaps it's finally time for Google to let the EU know what the whole thing is about. Toss in a ninety-nine second pause in analyzing the word and the potential solutions. While in this waiting period.....play the EU national tune and put five pictures of the top EU bureaucrats. Let the public know.....no matter if in Spain, Germany or Austria.....that the EU is managing everything and these individual countries and individual political figures really don't matter anymore. After a couple of weeks....the EU guys will get some heat from their own countries and start to question the wisdom of knocking Google down a notch.