It’s an unfortunate fight, because Google likes Europe, but Europe? Not the biggest fan of Google lately!
Here’s a list of the problems the company is facing in the Old World:
- It’s about to simply delist all French media companies due to a proposed law that would force Google to pay every time it linked to a French news article. If this sounds familiar, there’s a reason.
- The EU (and the US) are probing whether Google drove more traffic to its own services than other people’s, which to us raises the question of whether they’ve ever used MapQuest.
So, that’s three rounds. Who wins each?
In the fight of Google vs. French media companies, Google is going to win this one. As I noted, this is not the first time a European country has made noises about how Google “profits” off their articles because nobody clicks through. Belgium actually followed through and ordered Google to delist its newspapers, which it did. Then the newspapers sued to be put back on Google. It’s going to be hard for France to argue that access to Google is a right, not a privilege.
The antitrust allegation is going to be a bit trickier. It’s pretty hard to prove that Google just wasn’t doing things better, partially because, well, Microsoft managed to prove just that recently. It’s true that Google search tends to direct to Google services for the first result… but is that anticompetitive behavior when every search engine does the same and it’s just Google is the most popular?
In short, Google probably wins, and will take Luxembourg as its bounty. Although they probably won’t burn the crops and hear the lamentations of their women. Not really the Goog’s thing.