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EU initiates antitrust proceedings against Google

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Wednesday initiated [press release] antitrust proceedings against Google [corporate website] accusing the company of utilizing their dominant position in the search engine market to hurt competitors. The commission sent Google a Statement of Objections, which describe how the search engine company has negatively affected the European Economic Area (EEA) [official website] by favoring its own shopping products within search results. The commission also issued a statement in regards to the allegations, which reads, "[t]he Commission is concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries—to the detriment of consumers and rival comparison shopping services." The Commission has also opened an antitrust case against Google addressing issues with its Android operating system.

Google has faced legal action both in the US and internationally. In January a representative for Google signed an agreement [JURIST report] to rewrite the company's current privacy policy in response to pressure from the UK Information Commissioner's Office [official website]. Also in January Google was among four tech companies that reached a $415 million settlement [JURIST report] in a class action lawsuit claiming the companies unlawfully agreed to reduce employee compensation and mobility. A Hong Kong court ruled [JURIST report] in August that Chinese businessman Dr. Albert Yeung Sau Shing may continue his defamation suit against Google over the autocomplete function of the company's search engine, which suggests links connecting Yeung to organized crime groups in China. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] last May that programming interfaces in Oracle's Java technology can be protected under US copyright law, allowing Oracle to pursue its legal case against Google.

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