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Surprise! Google accused of abusing monopoly

As an admirer of a lot of what Google does, it’s with mixed feelings (amusement and schadenfreude) that we read of its latest travails.

The EU, that bastion of free market economics, has launched an anti-trust investigation over the allegation by two shopping comparison sites (one owned by Microsoft, paragons of free market competition) that Google has been applying a penalty to their pages so that they don’t rank well in Google’s natural search results.

What’s more, they allege that by displaying its own ‘Shopping Results’ against a product search, Google is abusing its UK market position which is claimed to be circa 90%.

Google didn’t see fit to put up a spokesman for the item on Radio 4’s Today programme and you can see why.  Unnamed company sources say that the shopping channels concerned have little ‘original content’. Whereas Google’s shopping Results are pregnant with insight, wit and revelation.

It’s irrelevant that Google doesn’t charge merchants who list their products in its Shopping Results for any click-throughs. Either show all product listings or none. You can’t have it both ways.

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