Google and Its Ongoing Issues With Europe


Google and Europe have had issues for a while now. Quartz reports that European regulators have even accused the comapny of cheating customers for their own gain, in the form of adjusting web searches to favor its own services. CBC News even refers to the issues between the two as an all-out feud, with both parties acting like children at times. The issues have gone back and forth for some time now, with no end appearing to be in sight, or so they say.

It seems that now the mega giant of a company is trying to play nice and repair the rift. Supposedly, the company has offered 150 million euros, which is equal to $162 million in American money, to fund digital newsroom strategies in Europe. The article continues on to say that the news publishers who have been against Google are realizing that the company is not going anywhere. CBC even points out that these news publishers realize how big Google is and how much people are reliant upon it in terms of finding useful information, but by the same token they are still wise to the company. They do not want to view it as a friend or enemy. The term frenemy was mentioned in reference to Google and its strategies.

Europe had previously filed antitrust charges against the company, and it is still facing fines from several European countries due to its 2012 privacy policy changes. Europe is also said to be looking into Google Android’s operating system. Europeans are worried about companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, their dominance in the U.S. and how it is even spreading into Europe, as stated by The Seattle Times. Europe is worried that these companies will use their private data in various unethical ways.

European politicians, regulators and people in various businesses feel that the continent needs to develop its own internet and social media platforms and not be reliant on companies such as Google. While the continent may not want an all-out war, they do not want to have a friend-like relationship with the company either so the term frenemies really applies. The Seattle Times does add that Europe has stated that they do not have a grudge against or fight with Google. The continent mainly feels indifferent, and their main focus is making sure any companies that have operations in their territories act according to their rules. A spokesperson for Europe even went on to say that the company’s offer is not worthless, but rather just not quite enough.

There is fear that the entire economy of Europe will be at risk if it becomes too dependent on U.S. internet companies. Some even want the continent to cut all ties with Google, completely. The article goes on to detail that the general consensus seems to be that Europe has a right to regulate a sector or company as it sees fit, and can bring antitrust charges if it wishes. While Google has begun to make attempts at resolving its issues with Europe, some difficulties and distrust between the two still remains.

By Heather Granruth
CBC News
The Seattle Times

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