EU Says More Google “Concessions” Needed Before Antitrust Settlement

google-eu-featured The vigorous lobbying efforts of Google critics and Foundem's seem to be paying off. Earlier today EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told members of the European Parliament that additional "concessions" would probably be required of Google to settle the antitrust investigation against the company and avoid litigation and potential financial penalties. According to Reuters, Almunia said the following: After [all the settlement proposal feedback is received] we will analyze the responses we have received, we will ask Google, probably, I cannot an [...]

German Court Says Google Must Block Libelous Words Added Via Autocomplete Function

Google Germany In a surprising turn of events, Germany's top civil court overturned two lower court rulings on a case involving Google's autocomplete function. According to the ruling, it is Google's responsibility to block libelous words that appear next to a name via the autocomplete function if Google has been alerted to the defamatory words. The plaintiff in the case was an unidentified nutritional supplements company that filed the lawsuit against Google because the German-language site's autocomplete function was adding the terms "Scientology" and "fraud" to the company's name in search queries. The [...]

Taiwanese Research Firm Claims Patent Law Suit Against Google Search Products

google-legal-law-featured Institute for Information, located in Taipei, Taiwan, has brought a patent lawsuit against Google in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. According to the case, the research institution claims Google Search, Google+ Local and Google Places infringes on the Institute for Information's patented information retrieval system. The patent in question was issued to the Institute for Information in January of 2005. Titled, "Information retrieval system with a neuro-fuzzy structure," under US Patent Number 6,845,354, stated the Institute for Information's patent covers [...]

Another One Bites the Dust: Google SMS Search Shuts Down Without Warning

Google mobile app logo After trying to perform searches via Google SMS Search last week, many users discovered that the mobile search service had been discontinued. In the Google Web Search Help forum, a Google spokesperson wrote, "Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people's lives." Google SMS  Search let users send search queries and receive results via a text to Google. Beginning last week, users received the following no [...]

Even If Yahoo Wants To Leave Microsoft, Here’s Why It Can’t

google-microsoft-yahoo Despite effectively renewing its search deal with Microsoft recently, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yahoo wants a way to break that deal. Why didn't Yahoo take the opportunity it just had? I suspect that technically and financially, it couldn't. Yahoo's "Get Out Of Microsoft Free" Card The WSJ story says that Yahoo has been "quietly" trying to find a way out of its deal with Microsoft. There are some very specific reasons why Yahoo could break that ten year deal early. One of them is the failure for Microsoft to help Yahoo to reach promised "revenue per search" or RPS goals. T [...]

EU Goes Public With Google Antitrust Proposals, “Market Test” FAQs

google-eu-featured The EU released documents this morning that detail Google's antitrust settlement proposals and explain the Competition Commission's position on various aspects of the investigation. First here's what the EU says Google has proposed: Google offers for a period of 5 years to: (i) - label promoted links to its own specialised search services so that users can distinguish them from natural web search results, - clearly separate these promoted links from other web search results by clear graphical features (such as a frame), and - display links to three rival specialised search services c [...]

Google Earnings: Q1 Revenue Rises And Paid Clicks Up 20% Though CPC Slips 4% YoY

google-earnings-money-featured Google announced their Q1 2013 earnings today, and as many analysts expected, the company posted revenue gains over the previous year. Revenue rose  31% year-over-year  to $13.97  billion for the quarter, beating expectations. Here are the highlights: Paid Clicks -- Aggregate paid clicks, which include ad clicks on Google sites and Google Content Network sites rose 20% year-over-year and 3% over Q4 2012. Google Sites -- Google-owned sites generated $8.64 billion, an 18% increase year-over-year of $7.31 billion. Revenues were flat quarter-over-quarter. Google Network -- Google partner [...]

Report: Google To Settle “WiSpy” Investigation With Attorneys General For Measly $7 Million

Google Street View Pegman Icon According to AllThingsD, Google is about to settle the so-called "WiSpy" investigation with 30 US state Attorneys Generals. Google will admit no wrongdoing and pay $7 million according to the report. The article says the settlement will be announced next week. In early 2012, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded its own WiSpy investigation with no finding of liability against Google, but fined the company $25,000 for not cooperating with its investigation -- a claim that Google aggressively disputed. The WiSpy scandal was global in scope. If you've forgotten, it i [...]

Google Works To Prevent Illegal Download Sites From Having A Credit Source

broken google credit card The Telegraph reports Google is leading an effort to prevent illegal download sites from having a source of credit to be able to buy ads online. Google is in talks specifically with Visa, Mastercard and PayPal to prevent these types of companies from using credit cards or PayPal accounts. This would help prevent these types of companies that are overseas from placing these illegal ads, when court orders cannot. They have taken internal efforts to mass ban AdWords advertisers many times throughout the years. Google is not the first to go this route, supposedly the book publishing, music, [...]

Google Buys Channel Intelligence For $125 Million

google-shopping-featured Google has acquired retail feed management provider Channel Intelligence (not to be confused with Channel Advisor) for $125 million. The company counts major brands and retailers among its clients. Channel Intelligence (CI) offers a range of services built around data management and product feed optimization. It lists Target, Philips, HP, Neiman Marcus and Best Buy among its customers and says it works with 850 retailers on a global basis. The conventional line on this acquisition is that it will better help Google Shopping compete with Amazon and eBay. CI was a launch partner of Goog [...]

Google Settles With France: No ‘Link Tax,’ But €60 Million Media Fund

google-france-french-featured Google has avoided getting hit with a "link tax" in France by agreeing to create a €60 million "Digital Publishing Innovation Fund" to essentially help French media adapt to the online age. The settlement, announced today in France by President Francois Hollande and Google's Eric Schmidt -- and announced on Google's blog -- ends several months of debate over France's plan to charge Google for linking to French news content. When the French law was first proposed, Google threatened to just stop linking to French newspaper websites, saying that the country's publishers would miss out on [...]

Microsoft Sued By Company That Won Patent Lawsuit Against Google In 2012

bing-legal-law-featured [caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="240"] Image courtesy[/caption] New York-based Vringo has sued Microsoft over two patents that pertain to the ranking and placement of ads in search results. The patents were originally issued in the early '90s and owned for a long time by Lycos, which later sold them. The patents in question are 6,314,420 and 6,775,664, referred to in the complaint (below) as the "420" and "664" patents. They wound up at Vringo, a company that sells video ringtones for mobile phones. The company's real business however is pat [...]

Google Details How It Responds To Government Requests For User & Search Data

online-privacy Google has written a blog post documenting their legal process and approach to dealing with government requests for user and search data, highlighting a new section now available in Google that also answers more of these questions. Governments routinely ask search engines like Google for access to user data for various reasons. From search logs, to email accounts, to browser history, to purchase history. Google says they take each request incredibly seriously. They post transparency reports for all user data requests issued by governments around the world. In the U.S. they even document [...]

Google Earnings Show Halt Of CPC Decline, At Least Temporarily

TAC-Google4Q One of the closest-watched metrics by marketers and investors -- the cost-per-click across Google's advertising business -- increased approximately 2% in the fourth quarter, as compared to the third quarter, after several consecutive quarters of decline. The company released the figure as it announced revenues of $14.4 billion in the usually-busy fourth quarter. The fourth quarter average CPC was still down -- approximately 6% -- as compared to the same period last year, but, given recent quarters, any upward movement in CPC is noteworthy. A recent report from Adobe indicated that the compa [...]

After Years Of Anti-Competitive Complaints Foundem Sues Google In UK Court

Foundem Bloomberg reports Google is yet again being sued, this time by UK's shopping search engine, for alleged anti-competitive practices. This comes a week after the FTC ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove search bias by Google in their search results. Foundem is seeking damages for revenue lost as a result of Google’s “anti- competitive conduct,” lawyers for Foundem said. “Since a lack of original content is an inherent characteristic of all search services, including Google’s own, that reason cannot justify” Google's actions, Foundem said in the U.K. lawsuit. The [...]

Google Piracy Algorithm May Be Reviewed By UK Regulators

piracy-cd-music-featured The Guardian reports that regulators within the United Kingdom will be reviewing Google's efforts to remove piracy web sites from their search results because they feel Google has not done enough. In August, Google launched the Pirate Algorithm, which is designed to lower the ranking of sites that are repeatedly reported and found to have copyright infringement cases on the site. You can learn more on how that algorithm works over here. UK regulators are not satisfied and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said they will review the technical changes promised by Google in order [...]

After Meeting With Eric Schmidt, France Stands By Threat To Write Law Forcing Google To Pay To Link To News Sites

google-g-logo-2012 The French government is digging in its heels. After a meeting today with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, French President Francois Hollande reiterated the government's plans to create a new law to force Google to pay when it links to newspaper websites. The spat has been going on for a few weeks, since the French government first proposed a law that would require search engines to pay to link to content. After the original back and forth, plans were made for today's meeting in Paris. As Reuters is reporting, President Hollande didn't back down. The president reiterated that F [...]

Pay To List French News Sites? “Non,” Writes Back Google To France — It’ll Just Drop Them

google-france Google has sent a letter to the French policy makers about a proposal to charge Google for linking to their content. France 24 reports Google threatened French publishers by telling them they will not pay to link to their content and if they are forced to, Google will simply stop linking to them. The official letter, written in French, doesn't appear to be written in such a direct tone. The letter describes how this proposal can hurt the internet as a whole, can hurt French readers and most importantly - hurt French publishers. Google says they send four billion clicks per month to publi [...]

Google Q3 Earnings Leak: $14.1 Billion, Disappoint Surprised Investors

google-earnings-money-featured Google's Q3 "consolidated earnings" leaked early and are below analysts' expectations. Search clicks were up 33 percent vs. a year go but CPCs were down 15 percent, probably a result of the impact of lower mobile CPCs. Traffic acquisition costs were also up, as were other expenses. Investors were surprised by the early release and generally disappointed. The press release, which appeared on the SEC website, says "pending Larry quote." So the early release was a draft and not final. Clearly this was a mistake. Earnings were supposed to come out after the market closed today. Nonetheless the [...]

Eric Schmidt Floats Idea Of A Yahoo-Google Search Partnership

yahoo-google-bing-hearts-featured Apple, Google and mapping apps weren't the only thing that Eric Schmidt spoke about today in Tokyo. Forbes is reporting that Schmidt also floated the idea of a Google-Yahoo search partnership. Dow Jones reporter Kenneth Maxwell was at the event, and shared this statement with Forbes: Yes, I can confirm, Eric Schmidt definitely said they'd be interested in working with Yahoo US. He also said nothing doing for the time being, but they would be interested. It was also mentioned to him that there is new management at Yahoo US with a Google connection. But he played it pretty straight…. He al [...]

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