Google caught in the antitrust network
Owning a global company has its advantages. You have to earn a lot of money abroad. But the biggest tech companies in the US understand that there is a downside: Every country you make money from is a country that can organize for you.
All tech-related antitrust measures around the world are hard to follow, in part because they don't always deserve much attention. In Europe, which has long been the site of the world's most aggressive regulator, Google alone was fined $2.7 billion in 2017, $5 billion in 2018 and $1.7 billion in 2019. These sums would be devastating to most businesses. But it's slightly higher than the company's mistakes, which reported $61.9 billion in revenue in the past three months.
Read more legislation passed by Australia to force Facebook and Google to pay for news, however, increasingly, foreign countries are exceeding the penalty of slapping in the wrist. Instead, they are forcing tech companies to change the way they do business. In February, Australia passed a law allowing news publishers to negotiate payments from the dominant internet platforms - effectively, Facebook and Google. In August, South Korea was the first country to pass a law forcing Apple and Google to open mobile app stores for intermittent payment systems, with a 30% commission threatening developers. And in the event of potentially significant consequences, Google will soon have to respond to a request from competing Turkish authorities about reluctance to own the property in local search results.
Consequences of such cases could extend beyond state borders with enforcement of the new law He has created natural experiments that systems in other countries might emulate. For example, the fact that Google and Facebook have indulged in Australian media haggling may accelerate similar efforts in other countries, including Taiwan, Canada and even the United States. Luther Law, who has been pushing for antitrust action against Google for more than a decade as senior vice president of public policy at Yelp, rightly refers to the phenomenon as a "creep cure."
In other cases, companies that have to change their business model abroad may decide to make the change globally before they have to. After conducting research at Japan's Fair Trade Commission, Apple decided to implement a solution - allowing audio, video, and reading programs to link to their websites to make global payments. “Companies decide that different coping strategies in different markets are too costly. Sometimes, they wait for a copy of the rules: they know they exist and they don't,” said Anu Bradford, professor of international law and antitrust at Columbia University. Don't wait for the Russians or the Turks to do their job.
According to media such as Australia and South Korea, the case in Turkey could be the biggest deal, due to how Google uses its power as a gatekeeper for most internet traffic.
What matters is the so-called By local search, such as when you search for “restaurants near me” or “devices.” That’s a massive amount of search traffic — according to some analysts, nearly half of all searches on Google. Google critics and competitors have long complained that Google is using its dominance unfairly. Fair to push local search results into their offerings, even when those results aren't very useful.Keep in mind that if you do a Google search for "Chinese restaurant" it probably has a widget at the top of the results page that Google calls OneBox. It will include a section of Google Maps and some Google Reviews about Chinese restaurants near you.You need to scroll down to find the best organic results, which could be from Yelp or TripAdvisor.
This dynamic has angered Google's critics and competitors for years. These injured competitors, Yelp, sued in Turkey against the . competitor Countries. Google argues that its local search results are designed to be of maximum benefit to users, not to show the end result. But Turkish regulators disputed this, concluding that Google "abused its dominant position in the public search services market by violating Article 6 of the Turkish Competition Law for local search services and house price comparisons in order to eliminate your competitors for advertising." (I quote a translation provided by a Turkish lawyer). In April, they imposed a $36 million fine. That's on average less than Google every two hours in 2020. But while the fine was trivial, the rest of the decision was not. Authorities have issued a preliminary ruling ordering Google to provide a way to display local search results that it does not consider desirable to competitors.
The case is currently in limbo. The competition authority has yet to issue a “reasoned opinion” and detail its conclusion. Then, Google will have an opportunity to submit its proposal to comply with this provision. It is up to the competition organization to decide whether this proposal is good enough.Advertising
This is not Google's first horse riding game in Ankara. In 2018, rival authorities made a similar ruling on Google Shopping and found that Google was compared to other shopping and comparison sites. This followed a similar example in the European Union, but with one important difference: In this case, the European Union agreed to dissolve Google, even if its competitors argued it was inappropriate. Turkish officials did not. This will allow Google to reinstate or discontinue Google Shopping in Turkey with a solution acceptable to lawmakers. The company chose the second option and simply closed the comparative purchasing unit in the state.
Google can do the same for the current page. But the risks will be much greater. Local search accounts for a much larger share of the total search, and Turkey, with a population of 85 million, is a great place. Skipping the local search can destroy a common advantage in the large market. This means that the company has a greater incentive to offer a solution that the competition authority does not reject. But this in turn adds an additional risk: any solution adopted in Turkey could be claimed elsewhere.
"If you are one of the dominant companies in the world, the disadvantage is that if one of these jurisdictions appears, for example in the nature of an antitrust drug, that is a huge domino risk." , Amy Klobuchar can hold her smartphone into the Senate where Sundar Pichai testifies and says, "Mr. Pichai, I've already activated my Turkish VPN and Turkish consumers seem to have a better deal than Minnesota consumers."
What does it look like ? Google has not released any suggested solutions; Company spokeswoman Emily Clark said the company is awaiting a full opinion on its legal obligations. Yelp argues that anyone who wins organic search results should also have the right to an API with OneBox results, based on the theory that Google's algorithm previously considered them to be the top hits. In other words, if your search now results in Google Maps results in OneBox, but the first link from Yelp below, Yelp should populate your OneBox instead - which means you see Yelp comments first, not browsing Google when trying to find a place to eat.
Such a change, if widely accepted, could significantly alter the flow of Internet traffic. As analyst Rand Fishkin noted in 2019, more than 50 percent of Google searches end without another user clicking on another site. This is partly because, as Markup showed last year, Google features, or "direct replies," make up more than half of the first page a user sees when searching on a mobile phone.
“If this jurisdiction compels them,” Low said, “act in a way that works indiscriminately, that essentially turns Google’s main machinery into a bandwagon.” “Party Services.”
It's easy to see why a company like Yelp would want a high bill. They're forcing Google to give it to them - and if so, will Google link to them or will Turkish put users back in the top 10 blue links? In any case, the consequences are likely to be limited to Turkey's borders. American tech companies have conquered the world. And now the world wants to conquer again. p>
This story originally appeared on wired.com.