Posts tagged EU
Positives and Negatives of Google being Fined $2.73 Billion by the EU

Ben Thompson:

"The European Commission levied a record €2.42 billion ($2.73 billion) fine on Google yesterday for having 'abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.'"

"It is tempting when these decisions come down to start with the ends: specifically, does the outcome in question agree with one’s pre-existing views on such matters as regulation generally, antitrust specifically, and even nationalism (or continentalism, as it were)? The means matter, though, especially in this decision: there are three meaningful questions in this case that cut to the heart of antitrust regulation of digital companies:

  • What is a digital monopoly?
  • What is the standard for determining illegal behavior?
  • What constitutes a competitive product?

"The European Commission’s decision was impressive on some of these questions, and very problematic on others; all sides of the antitrust debate should be wary of standing in resolute opposition or support."

Ben goes into detailed analysis of the three questions above and describes the positive and negative results of the EUs decision. It's well worth your time.

Read the full piece on Stratechery.

Header image by Marius Badstuber on Unsplash.

DailyTimothy BuckGoogle, EU
EU fines Facebook 110 million euros over WhatsApp deal

Robert-Jan Bartunek reporting for Reuters:

"European Union antitrust regulators fined Facebook 110 million euros ($122 million) on Thursday for giving misleading information during a vetting of its deal to acquire messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

"Calling it a 'proportionate and deterrent fine', the European Commission, which acts as the EU's competition watchdog, said Facebook had said it could not automatically match user accounts on its namesake platform and WhatsApp but two years later launched a service that did exactly that.

"'The Commission has found that, contrary to Facebook's statements in the 2014 merger review process, the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users' identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility,' the Commission said."

Much of Facebook's current position of strength in the market is due to their wise acquisitions of potential competitors—Instagram and WhatsApp. The upside of the WhatsApp acquisition is so high that they risked (and now received) huge fines to make it happen. A $122 million fine doesn't even make a dent in the strategic value WhatsApp provides to Facebook.

Read on Reuters.

Header image from Reuters.