The battle begins: Google vs. EU... FIGHT!

European Union: Hitting Google where it hurts.

EU slaps Google with antitrust charges
Credit: DC comics

In Brussels, at high noon today, the EU fired the first hail of anti-trust charges towards internet giant Google. But after a protracted four year legal back-and-forth with the EU, Google is an experienced sharp-shooter. Armed to the teeth with influence, cash, and legal expertise, many expect Google to wage a desperate fight to remain the biggest search engine standing.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers will wait until the dust settles.

Today's humble blogwatcher is .

Hayley Tsukayama finds Google, hanging on the Tree of Woe:

Prominent Google critics are cheering...reports that the European Union may issue a statement of objections against the search giant, after years of investigation.

It would be one of the most significant actions ever taken by a European body against a major U.S. company, on par with Europe's landmark case against Microsoft a decade ago.

But what does that mean for you? Here's a quick rundown...  MORE

Peter Teffer expects a big serving for lunch:

[Details] of the charges are expected to be released [during a] press conference at noon local time in Brussels, the main allegations...have remained the same in the past four years.

Companies have accused Google of favouring its other services when consumers use Google Search.

[Google search] has such a dominant position in the EU –- in some countries...its market share is as high as 98 percent -- that under EU rules the company has "a special responsibility to ensure that its conduct does not distort competition."  MORE

At his core, Mike Elgan seems to dislike European regulators:

One strange element of [the EU's] attacks on Google is that...Europe doesn't oppose Google...only European politicians and regulators do.

At the core of [the EU's] crusade against Silicon Valley is a vague, disquieting dislike for the enormous power and influence of a few companies--something The Guardian newspaper called Europe's "Silicon Valley envy."  MORE

Holly Ellyatt believes in rewarding hard work:

Trip Chowdhry, managing director of Global Equities Research, said EU charges against [Google] would be a protectionist move and a big mistake.

"I think the European Union is totally clueless...they're going to destroy the company," he told CNBC's "Capital Connection" Tuesday.

Chowdhry argued that the EU was "penalizing success and rewarding complacency.".  MORE

Mark Bergen doesn't drop names, only memos:

[Today] the European Union is expected to drop the hammer on Google, charging the company with violating antitrust rules.

And Google is prepping a response. Re/code obtained an internal memo discussing the impending charges.

Here's the memo...  MORE

An unnamed BBC journalist spots the tip of an iceberg:

The EU's investigation is not the only one Google is facing.

Investigators at India's Competition Commission delivered a report last week after carrying out a three-year probe into claims of unfair business practices.

Their counterparts in Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan and Canada have also opened investigations.  MORE

But Jane McCallion looks closely at an Android:

In another turn of events, [EU Commissioner] Vestager [will] a separate formal investigation into Google's Android mobile OS today.  MORE

Meanwhile, big charges always trouble Lord "you're fired" Sugar: [You're fired -Ed.]

Hmm big trouble looming to Google to face charges in EU after years of investigation for favouring its own algorithms  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @itblogwatch or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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