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Marissa Mayer, a former leading Google executive, has been appointed as Yahoo next chief executive.
Marissa Mayer, 37, will become the firm’s third CEO in the space of a year.
In a statement released by Yahoo, Marissa Mayer said she was “honored and delighted” to lead the company.
In May CEO Scott Thompson stepped down after accusations that he put a fake computer degree on his CV. In September 2011, CEO Carol Bartz was fired after two-and-a-half years in the post.
Yahoo has struggled in the face of increased competition from search rivals including Google and the emergence of social giants such as Facebook.
Although it remains the US’ largest web portal, correspondents say Yahoo’s failure to become more “social” has hurt the firm.
Its stock is now worth less than half its peak value.
Marissa Mayer, a former leading Google executive, has been appointed as Yahoo next chief executive
Yahoo’s news service still attracts very large volumes of traffic. But other products, such as its search engine and email, have suffered. The company’s revenue from display advertising has also dwindled.
Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn was thought to have been the favorite for the job before Monday’s announcement that Marissa Mayer was to take the helm.
Correspondents say the selection of Marissa Mayer to head the company suggests a renewed focus on technology and products, over online content.
“I look forward to working with the company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world,” Marissa Mayer said.
She becomes one of very few women in Silicon Valley to rise to the top of a major technology firm.
“A lot of people did not believe that Yahoo could get someone of the caliber of a Marissa Mayer to become the CEO at this stage,” Standard and Poor’s equity analyst Scott Kessler told Reuters news agency.
Marissa Mayer, who takes up her post at Yahoo on Tuesday, joined Google in 1999 as the company’s first female engineer.
A former computer science student at California’s Stanford University, she was the fledgling company’s 20th employee.
She worked on creating the Google search engine and the company’s widely-recognised home page.
More recently, Marissa Mayer has been in charge of the technology giant’s location and mapping services, which include Google Maps, Earth, Local and Street View.
She has been credited with shaping much of the “look and feel” of Google’s user experience.
Marissa Mayer currently serves on the boards of Walmart, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet. She will also join Yahoo’s board.
Google Inc. has been fined $22.5 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for ignoring the privacy settings of customers using Apple’s Safari browser.
The staggering sum would be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the FTC.
But, with Google reporting a net income of $2.89 billion in the first quarter of this year, it would take just over 17 hours for the company to earn the amount to pay off the fine.
The fine was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which cited officials briefed on the settlement terms.
Google has been fined $22.5 million by the FTC for ignoring the privacy settings of customers using Apple's Safari browser
The charges involve Google’s use of special computer code, or “cookies”, to trick Apple’s Safari browser so Google could monitor users that had blocked such tracking, the newspaper said.
The tracking, which occurred on computers and iPhones, would have allowed the search engine to collect information on users’ preferences and search choices.
But Google disabled the code after being contacted by the Wall Street Journal, which first covered the story in February.
Staff at Google told the publication that tracking Apple users was inadvertent and did not cause any harm to consumers.
“The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies,” Google said.
But the company’s practices sparked an investigation by the Trade Commission into whether it had violated an agreement signed last year.
In the 20-year agreement, Google said it would not misrepresent its privacy practices to users, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The penalty for violating this agreement is $16,000 per violation per day.
The code was spotted by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer. Advisers agreed that scores of ads on websites installed the tracking code.
Google also faces potential sanctions from other governments. It is being investigated by the European Union to determine if the company complies with Europe’s stricter privacy laws, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Is it possible to go online without being noticed by Google? Three computer professionals try to part ways with Google.
Tom Henderson spends what he describes as “way too much” time online.
The managing director for Extreme Labs, a technology company in Bloomington, Indiana, Tom Henderson says he’s often up late in the evening doing work for clients – and having fun exploring the far reaches of the internet.
But when Google announced earlier this year that it would be streamlining the privacy agreements for all of its products – including YouTube, Blogger and Gmail – Tom Henderson decided to find a way to stay online without patronizing Google.
The policy was criticized by EU officials for being too invasive.
“At that point I had to make a decision,” says Tom Henderson.
“Do I like the terms of service and am I willing to abide by it to use Google’s products? And the answer in both cases was no.”
So Tom Henderson decided to quit Google for good. He wrote a manifesto for IT World called How I divorced Google and set about initiating the break-up.
Four months later, he’s still living a mostly Google-free existence.
Google’s terms of service state that the information it collects is used primarily to make the browsing experience better.
They firm also promises to share that information only in limited circumstances, unless users give consent.
Three computer professionals try to part ways with Google
But Tom Henderson wasn’t satisfied that the policy could be enforced, and didn’t feel confident that the sheer amount of information Google can collect wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.
“Google isn’t subject to an audit of what those practices are,” he says.
“They’re not telling whether they sell that info to insurance companies or people who want to market to you or people who don’t like you at all.”
So rather than hope for the best, he started to live his life without Google.
Though he still misses YouTube, he asked his son, a musician, to cross-post his music videos on Vimeo. He uses MapQuest for directions. And instead of “Googling,” he now uses a platform called Duck Duck Go, a search engine designed to protect privacy.
Tom Henderson isn’t the first person to try to abandon Google products out of privacy fears. But he’s stuck with it longer than most.
“After a month, I decided it was mission impossible,” says Benjamin Ellis, a technologist living in Camberley, England.
In 2009, he tried to give up Google after a friend “held up his Google-branded phone to take a picture that will probably end up on a Google-powered photo site, indexed by Google search-bots, published on Google-powered blogs, with Google-powered ads, viewed in Google-built web browsers, maybe even on a Google-built operating system.”
“I realized pretty quickly that you had to go to extreme lengths to avoid interaction with Google,” he says.
He found that his contact with Google went well beyond the active choices of viewing videos on YouTube or using the search engine.
Google planted tracking cookies when he visited sites that used Google’s AdSense, which used his personal preferences to tailor ads to his liking.
Benjamin Ellis was also being exposed to cookies via Google SafeBrowsing, a product that keeps tabs on sites known to run malware. That program is now used on Safari and Firefox web browsers as well as Google’s Chrome browser.
“It was hard to find any that didn’t use either of those. It’s a massive chunk of the internet,” he said.
(Tom Henderson, for his part, uses blockers that prevent Google from tracking his browsing).
Benjamin Ellis says he’s back to using Google products, but has become more careful about his browser’s privacy settings and the type of programs that he agrees to give data to. Though the UK has stricter online privacy laws than the US, Benjamin Ellis is still proactive about his internet footprint.
“I have much stricter settings on my cookies now,” he says.
“I’m a bit more conscious.”
Not everyone who tries to walk away from Google ends up wary.
Take Joe Wilcox, the editor of BetaNews.com, a technology news site. In 2011, he too was worried about privacy, and tried to shun Google for at least a week.
“It went so badly that I went the other way. Now I’m a total Google geek,” he says.
Joe Wilcox says that Google’s size and scope has led to great products and break-neck innovation.
“They’re constantly improving their services and making it better. I like that lifestyle,” he says.
He’s not bothered by the cache of data Google collects about each user.
“There’s no evidence that they’re abusing your privacy,” he says.
Instead, he points to ways it can make browsing easier – for instance, the new product Google Now, a predictive service which is promoted as being “always one step ahead” of the user.
Google Now uses personal data and GPS information to determine users’ routines and preferences. The program can send Android phone-users traffic updates, weather warnings and restaurant recommendations.
“It flips the script. It doesn’t take your information and [mis]use it, it takes your information and makes your experience better,” says Joe Wilcox.
In the digital age, he argues, there is very little privacy. With that in mind, Joe Wilcox says he’d rather deal with a large, visible company like Google than other less-known entities.
“At Google, I get more of a sense of what they know about me than some other companies.” he says.
“That’s a different kind of trade-off.”
Tom Henderson’s seven-day plan:
• Day 1: Take inventory
• Day 2: Delete cookies
• Day 3: Redirect host files
• Day 4: Install tracking blocker
• Day 5: Mobile phone maintenance
• Day 6: Find replacements
• Day 7: Maintenance and reflection
A Microsoft researcher says Smartphones running Google’s Android software have been hijacked by an illegal botnet.
Botnets are large illegal networks of infected machines – usually desktop or laptop computers – typically used to send out masses of spam email.
Researcher Terry Zink said there was evidence of spam being sent from Yahoo mail servers by Android devices.
Microsoft’s own platform, Windows Phone, is a key competitor to Android.
The Google platform has suffered from several high-profile issues with malware affected apps in recent months.
The official store – Google Play – has had issues with fake apps, often pirated free versions of popular paid products like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja.
Smartphones running Google's Android software have been hijacked by an illegal botnet
This latest discovery has been seen as a change of direction for attackers.
“We’ve all heard the rumors,” Terry Zink wrote in a blog post.
“But this is the first time I have seen it – a spammer has control of a botnet that lives on Android devices.
“These devices login to the user’s Yahoo Mail account and send spam.”
He said analysis of the IP addresses used to send the email revealed the spam had originated from Android devices being used in Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
As is typical, the spam email looks to tempt people into buying products like prescription drugs.
Security expert Graham Cluley, from anti-virus firm Sophos, said it was highly likely the attacks originated from Android devices, given all available information, but this could not be proven.
This was the first time smartphones had been exploited in this way, he said.
“We’ve seen it done experimentally to prove that it’s possible by researchers, but not done by the bad guys,” he said.
“We are seeing a lot of activity from cybercriminals on the Android platform.
“The best thing you can do right now is upgrade your operating system, if that’s possible.
“And before you install apps onto your device, look at the reviews, because there are many bogus apps out there.”
Google said it did not respond to queries about specific apps but was working to improve security on the Android platform.
“We are committed to providing a secure experience for consumers in Google Play, and in fact our data shows between the first and second halves of 2011, we saw a 40% decrease in the number of potentially malicious downloads from Google Play,” a spokesman said.
“Last year we also introduced a new service into Google Play that provides automated scanning for potentially malicious software without disrupting the user experience or requiring developers to go through an application approval process.”
Google has unveiled the Nexus 7, its first own-brand Android tablet made by the Taiwanese company Asus.
Google tablet will be sold for $199 from mid-July pitching it directly against Amazon’s Kindle Fire. It is set to be released in mid-July.
The 7-inch device has a smaller screen than Apple’s bestselling iPad and is 340g meaning it is also lighter to hold.
It also features Google’s Chrome browser at its default option – the first Android device to do so.
Google has unveiled the Nexus 7, its first own-brand Android tablet made by Asus
The machine features a quad-core CPU (central processing unit) and a 12-core GPU (graphics processing unit).
Having so many cores means the machine can ramp up its processing power when dealing with complicated graphics or running several programs at once, but can use less at other times to extend battery life.
The first countries to get the device are the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
While the tablet had been widely rumored before the firms I/O developers conference in San Francisco, the unveiling of another product – the Nexus Q – proved a surprise.
The device is a small Android-powered computer without its own screen. Rather than be used as a standalone unit it is meant to be plugged into a stereo and television system.
It can stream music and videos from other devices allowing both its owner and others to play media files.
Google described it as the “world’s first ever social streaming device”.
Google has revealed Jelly Bean Android 4.1 – the latest version of its Android system software.
Google described the code as the “fastest and smoothest” version of its mobile system to date.
It has also added the ability to type using speech recognition without needing to be connected to the net.
Google revealed that 400 million Android devices have now been activated, four times as many as last year.
It added that the number is growing at a rate of 12 machines every second.
Google has revealed Jelly Bean Android 4.1, the latest version of its Android system software
The update also aims to take advantage of some of the company’s recent search innovations including its Knowledge Graph – an effort to offer useful information rather than links in response to queries.
This has been integrated into its voice search service so a smartphone can respond to demands such as “how tall is the Seattle space needle” or “show me pictures of pygmy marmosets”.
The effort poses competition to Apple’s Siri service.
The firm also unveiled Google Now – which triggers useful information without the user having to ask for it.
Examples given included proposing the best route home based on a device’s knowledge of when a user typically leaves work and the current traffic conditions.
In addition it suggests restaurants and their best dishes when the user walks down the street and offers updates about favorite sports teams based on previous searches.
Google said it aimed to release over-the-air updates to existing devices to let them run the new software from mid-July.
Google and Sony have announced a tie-up that will see Google’s interactive TV service made available outside the US for the first time.
The set-top box allows users to browse the internet through their television, as well as access a range of specially designed applications.
The device, which will cost around £200 ($320) when it is released in July, will compete with Apple’s own TV box.
Apple TV is already available in the UK, currently priced at £99 ($155).
In a press release, Sony said their Google TV product, the NSZ-GS7, will also soon be made available in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico.
Google and Sony have announced a tie-up that will see Google's interactive TV service made available outside the US for the first time
“Entertainment content is available through so many channels and sites, and Google TV helps consumers easily find what they want to watch, listen to or play with the freedom of the internet and using the familiar Chrome search engine technology,” said Gildas Pelliet, Sony’s European head of marketing.
The device will be followed with a Blu-ray version expected to cost around £300 ($480) when it is launched later in the year.
The box will be controlled by a dual-sided remote control with a full QWERTY keyboard.
Like Apple’s offering, Google TV can be controlled via a smartphone.
Google’s foray into television has faced some hiccups since it first launched Google TV in the US in 2010.
Its devices were criticized for being too expensive, and several TV networks blocked the US-only service from accessing their web content.
Google announces it removed about 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism over the second half of 2011 after complaints from the UK’s Association of Police Officers.
The news was contained in its latest Transparency Report which discloses requests by international authorities to remove or hand over material.
Google said it terminated five accounts linked to the suspect videos.
However, the firm said it had rejected many other state’s requests for action.
Canada’s Passport Office was among the organizations rebuffed. It had asked for a video of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and then flushing it down the toilet be removed.
Google also refused to delete six YouTube videos that satirized Pakistan’s army and senior politicians. The order had come from the government of Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology.
Google announces it removed about 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism over the second half of 2011
But Google did act in hundreds of cases, including:
• requests to block more than 100 YouTube videos in Thailand that allegedly insulted its monarchy – a crime in the country
• the removal of a YouTube video that contained hate speech that had been posted in Turkey
• the termination of four YouTube accounts responsible for videos that allegedly contained threatening and harassing content after complaints by different US law enforcement agencies.
Overall, Google said it had received 461 court orders covering a total of 6,989 items between July and December 2011. It said it had complied with 68% of the orders.
It added that it had received a further 546 informal requests covering 4,925 items, of which it had agreed to 43% of the cases.
Google’s senior policy analyst, Dorothy Chou, said the company was concerned by the amount of requests that had been linked to political speech.
“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – Western democracies not typically associated with censorship,” she said.
“For example, in the second half of last year, Spanish regulators asked us to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors.
“In Poland, we received a request from the Agency for Enterprise Development to remove links to a site that criticized it.
“We didn’t comply with either of these requests.”
Apple has unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The operating system, which runs on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, will no longer include Google Maps software.
Apple will instead run its own mapping app, which has a high-quality 3D mode, on the platform.
Google announced its own 3D mapping software last week on its competing mobile platform, Android.
Both companies have used fleets of planes to capture the imagery, drawing concerns from some privacy campaigners.
Apple’s updated iOS software is being released in beta on Tuesday, and will be available for general consumers by the autumn, chief executive Tim Cook said.
It will be a free update for owners of either an iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS – as well as users of the latest iPad, the iPad 2 and fourth generation iPod touch.
Apple has unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco
Additional features include “eyes free”, a feature on which Apple said it had worked with car manufacturers to integrate a “Siri button” to activate the iPhone’s voice-operated assistant.
For the first time on Apple’s devices, video calls will be able to be made over a cellular connection, rather than relying on wi-fi or another mobile internet source.
The switch to its own mapping platform will provide Apple with even more opportunities to monetize its users, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Gartner, who attended the event in San Francisco.
“Maps got the biggest cheer [from the audience],” she said.
“The opportunity that controlling maps gives to Apple for learning more about what their users are doing, keeping that information, and then being able to leverage that for advertising purposes is huge.”
Carolina Milanesi said the announcements appeared to be warmly received by the developers in attendance.
“iOS6 is a continued evolution,” she said.
“I think the whole operating system is getting more clever. It’s learning from what consumers are doing and improving the experience.”
Apple also announced revamped models in its Macbook Pro and Macbook Air ranges.
Its new Macbook Pro is 0.71 inches thick, with a high-resolution Retina display. It utilizes Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor.
Its slimline Macbook Air range has also been upgraded with enhanced graphics and processing capabilities.
Both will offer a free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion, the latest version of the Mac operating system which is set for release in July.
Among its features is enhanced synchronization between desktop, laptop and mobile, thanks to iCloud, the company’s cloud-based storage service.
Once again, predictions that Apple was set to announce a long-rumored television failed to materialize.
Google announces that Chromebook and Chromebox, its computers using Chrome operating system, have been updated with faster processors.
The Samsung-manufactured laptop and desktop PCs include processors based on Intel’s Sandy Bridge technology, addressing criticism that the launch models were underpowered.
Chrome-based computers run all their applications through the firm’s web browser and store their files online.
Google has not released sales numbers for the previous range, but analysts said demand had been very low.
Tech consultants IDC said that 50,000 Chromebooks had shipped in the US in the first three months of the year in a market that had absorbed about 10 million laptops over the same period.
An earlier study by Gartner suggested there would be fewer than 300,000 Chromebooks sold worldwide this year.
An upcoming software release will also enable the firm’s Google Drive cloud storage service to act as the computers’ file system, making it easier for users to manage their documents.
It will also allow users to edit Google Documents files when offline. The files will subsequently be synchronized when a network connection is restored tackling complaints that the machines were of limited use when not on the internet.
Google announces that Chromebook and Chromebox, its computers using Chrome operating system, have been updated with faster processors
The search giant’s decision to build in a limited 16 gigabyte hard drive has helped it keep costs relatively low.
The Chromebook laptop is marketed for $449 while the desktop Chromebox is $329.
The firm highlights the fact that the devices need “zero administration” because files are stored in the cloud, system updates are controlled by Google and the computers have virus protection built-in.
Linus Upson, Google’s vice president of engineering, said this had already encouraged more than 500 schools across 41 US states to “deploy” Chromebooks to their students. He said he hoped businesses would now follow.
“From a security standpoint just about every major corporation in the world is under continuous attack by various governments around the world as well as criminal enterprises,” he said.
“Probably the single most important thing companies can do to secure their network is to secure the PCs that their employees use because that’s normally the way in.
“Everything from a phishing email saying ‘hey install this thing’ to exploiting flaws in browsers or plug-ins. At Google we see deploying Chromebooks broadly as being one of the best ways we can protect our user data.”
He admitted that the computers were not suitable for people wanting to use traditional software packages such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office. But he suggested such programs were “legacy” products that would “decline over time” as users opted for the type of browser-based software available via the Chrome Webstore.
David Daoud, personal computing research director at IDC, is skeptical about the platform’s prospects.
“The issue with Chromebook is the fact that it is in a sort of grey zone,” he said.
“It has neither the power of a laptop in the productivity world, nor the appeal of an iPad or an Android tablet.
“It is confined to a web environment that may not be so appealing in emerging economies where the wireless infrastructure may be limited. In such environments, characterized by tight budgets, consumers do not see why they would spend some $400 on a system that does not fully deliver on a more comprehensive user experience.”
But Frank Gillett, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said he believed there was a niche for the machines: first-time users looking for a low-cost simple device.
“It’s cheap, good enough for most of the things you want to do when you’re starting out and it’s just less complicated to figure out than alternatives out there,” he said.
“This is the first interesting version of the product – the launch models were more proof of concept. The Google Drive capability clears the bar to making Chrome-based computers useful to enough of the population to keep it going.”
Google says the computers will go on sale in the US and UK, adding that devices would come to other European markets “soon”.
Google has been asked by Microsoft to remove more than 500,000 links from its index in the last month, figures show.
The vast majority of the links in question were ones which took people to sites connecting to pirated Microsoft software.
Google shared the statistics as part of its efforts to be more transparent about what influences search results.
Microsoft’s requests dwarf those of the British Phonographic Institute, which represents record labels.
It asked for 160,000 links to be removed, again because they gave people access to pirated content.
In a blog post explaining its decision to share the figures, Google said it had done so because it believed there should be transparency when “something gets in the way of the free flow of information.”
Google has been asked by Microsoft to remove more than 500,000 links from its index in the last month
In the past it had shared information about official requests from government to get results removed from its search results and revealed when traffic to its services had been disrupted.
Now it has decided to broaden the range of information it shares to include requests from copyright owners.
“We remove more search results for copyright reasons than for any other reason,” a Google spokesman told the AFP agency.
The statistics shared on the copyright section of the Google Transparency Report show the number of requests to remove links has grown sharply.
In July 2011, the point at which its statistics start, Google was getting requests to remove 129,063 links per week. In May 2012 this figure had risen to 284,850. In the past month, more than 1.2 million links on 24,000 separate sites were removed. Requests to de-list links came from 1,296 separate copyright holders.
Google said it granted about 97% of requests to remove links and it usually took about 11 hours for any request to have an effect on search results.
Just under half of the requests for removals, which would mean that anyone searching for a particular term would not see blue links to those pages, came from Microsoft.
The BPI and media firm NBC Universal made the second and third largest number of requests in the last month.
“This data shows that placing all of the burden on copyright owners to deal with infringement is unworkable,” said BPI boss Geoff Taylor.
“It’s wrong for Google to be willfully blind to the clear data it has that particular sites are massive copyright infringers.”
“When Google has been told 100,000 times that sites like The Pirate Bay and beemp3 distribute music illegally, why do they come top – above Amazon and iTunes – when I search for ‘download music’?” he asked.
“It’s irresponsible, it misleads consumers and if Google won’t sort it out voluntarily, Government should get on with doing something about it.”
Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of phone maker Motorola Mobility has been completed days after it received approval from the Chinese government.
Chinese authorities said Google must keep its mobile software, Android, free for other device makers for up to five years.
The acquisition is Google’s biggest to date.
The internet search giant has also named a new management team for the phone handset maker.
Motorola is a leading manufacturer of smartphones and other devices.
Google's $12.5 billion purchase of phone maker Motorola Mobility has been completed days after it received approval from the Chinese government
Google’s takeover of the business allows it to move into the manufacturing of phones and tablet computers for the first time.
Google’s chief executive, Larry Page, said in a blog post that there were people using devices now who may never use a desktop machine: “The phones in our pockets have become supercomputers that are changing the way we live. It’s now possible to do things we used to think were magic, or only possible on Star Trek- like get directions right from where we are standing; watch a video on YouTube; or take a picture and share the moment instantly with friends.”
Larry Page added that Motorola had a long history in technological development: “Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone.”
He said he saw the new business producing “the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come”.
The purchase gives Google access to more than 17,000 of the company’s valuable patents.
The Chinese authorities cleared the deal on condition that Google keeps its mobile software, Android, free for other device makers for up to five years.
The European Commission also approved the deal, but it did not conclude there was an issue with Android, saying it was unlikely that Google would restrict the use of Android solely to Motorola, which is a minor player in the European Economic Area.
US approval has also been granted.
The European Commission has said Google has “a matter of weeks” to allay concerns it is abusing its dominant position in the search engine market.
An investigation by Europe’s antitrust head Joaquin Almunia looked at whether Google gave preferential treatment to its own services in its search results.
Joaquin Almunia said the company must now “offer remedies” swiftly.
A Google spokesman said the company disagreed with the conclusions, but would work to resolve the matter.
“We’re happy to discuss any concerns they might have,” Google spokesman Al Verney said.
“Competition on the web has increased dramatically in the last two years since the commission started looking at this and the competitive pressures Google faces are tremendous.”
An investigation by Europe's antitrust head Joaquin Almunia looked at whether Google gave preferential treatment to its own services in its search results
The commission had been investigating Google since November 2010 following complaints from several rivals.
In a statement, Joaquin Almunia said Google had the chance to outline steps to address the claims, rather than face formal action.
“Should this process fail to deliver a satisfactory set of remedies, the ongoing formal proceedings will of course continue,” he said.
The investigation outlined four areas where Google’s practices “may be considered as abuses of dominance”, Joaquin Almunia said.
Those practices are:
• The manner in which Google displays “its own vertical search services differently” from other, competing products.
• How Google “copies content” from other websites – such as restaurant reviews – to include within their own services.
• The “exclusivity” Google has to sell advertising around search terms people use.
• Restrictions surrounding portability of advertising content which prevents “seamless transfer” to other non-Google platforms.
Joaquin Almunia said he had outlined these concerns in a letter to Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
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