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Google: Does their dominance skew user choices?
Rounding up recent tech news that impacts livelihoods in the creative community …
EU decides on Google's competitive strategy
On June 27 the European Commission announced a $2.7 billion fine against Google for abusing its dominant position in search in order to restrict consumer choices in favor of its comparison shopping product. Google has 90 days to comply by correcting the disparity in which search results are promoted or demoted. The EC also indicated it believes Google abused its dominant position in the markets for Android and AdSense, a decision that will make it easier for private parties to bring additional lawsuits. Although the announcement was harsher than expected, its inconvenience and expense are responses to Google's business strategy success.
Canadian court rules on censoring Google search results
A June 29 Supreme Court of Canada ruling upheld a lower court's decision to allow an intellectual property plaintiff to enjoin Google to not list results linking to the third party's websites it is suing. This case began in 2012 when network connectivity device manufacturer Equustek determined that its IP was being stolen by rival Datalink Technology Gateways. As the case developed, the defendant went underground, relying on Google links as its sole means of revenue. "Google is how Datalink has been able to continue harming Equustek in defiance of several court orders," the court said in its ruling. "This does not make Google liable for this harm. It does, however, make Google the determinative player in allowing the harm to occur." International music organizations supported Equustek on appeal and consider this a victory.
Anti-piracy group blacklists private apps
On June 28 the Trustworthy Accountability Group released its anticipated blacklist of more than 8,000 illegal apps, empowering advertisers and their agencies to avoid supporting illegal activity with their ad dollars. Called the TAG Pirate Mobile App Tool, this blacklist joins TAG's growing tool chest alongside a malware threat-sharing hub and other information vital to pursuing the group's strategy of "following the money" and choking it off at the source.