EU will not look at Google privacy issues

The European Union (EU) review of Google's $3.1bn (£1.5bn) bid for DoubleClick will focus solely on the competition aspects of the deal and not privacy issues. The European Commission will decide by the end of the month whether to approve the deal or examine it further.

But privacy issues raised by the deal will not be taken into account at all, according to EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes. "We are looking at the influence on competition and that is it," she said.

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News source: vnunet

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25 Comments

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They haven't approved the merger ... it simply won't be decided on privacy, it will be decided on how it will effect the online ad market.

As for EU jobs, there is no reason to think this will mean more jobs in the EU - Google and Doubleclick are established here, as with most mergers its likely to mean less jobs.

Since the EU knows that Google snitched up private information to the Chinese Government...they will get the same treatment from Google.

Intel broke the EU anti-competition regulations by making companies/Computer Manufacturers and stores only sell their products and are currently being investigated for it | Microsoft also broke the EU anti-competition regulations were fined.

I don't know why Americans think that this is a attack on America itself. These companies, American or not, are doing shady business and are hurting the competition in this region off the world. The EU is doing the right thing by taking a hard stance on these cases.
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About Google:

The EU does not suspect Google or DoubleClick are violating any privacy issues so they are not looking into it BUT they are looking into the effects on the competition aspects.

It's not surprising to see more EU bashing in this topic.

You have to ask what would happen if they DIDN'T fine companies breaking the rules? What's the incentive for that company to abide by the rules if it doesn't affect their bottom line? At the end of the day if the companies didn't break rules in the first place then they wouldn't have to pay the fines. Microsoft and Intel both broke the EU's anti-competition regulations and were punished for doing so - people here seem to suggest that they should just be patted on the head and told to run along.

I prefer the EU system (that focuses on the individual) to that of the US (that focuses on the corporations) where companies are basically left to do what they want, which then restricts consumer choice and defeats the whole point of a "free" market - the big players dominate the little ones and there is little to no opportunity to change that. I prefer a system that favours in the individual rather than the coporation... afterall, businesses are comprised of individuals.

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes. "We are looking at the influence on competition and that is it," she said.

People can choose to use Google or not, surely that's easy for anyone to understand.

Privacy and Monopoly are two different things. People can swap search engines at a wink!

People can choose to use Google / Windows / Intel / [Insert any technology here] or not, surely that's easy for anyone to understand.

And yet the EU still went for the cash grab.

Based on their past lawsuits there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn't go for a Google cash grab too. It makes about as much sense as their Microsoft and Intel robberies.

C_Guy said,
People can choose to use Google / Windows / Intel / [Insert any technology here] or not, surely that's easy for anyone to understand.

And yet the EU still went for the cash grab.

Based on their past lawsuits there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn't go for a Google cash grab too. It makes about as much sense as their Microsoft and Intel robberies.

That about sums it up.

C_Guy said,
People can choose to use Google / Windows / Intel / [Insert any technology here] or not, surely that's easy for anyone to understand.

And yet the EU still went for the cash grab.

Based on their past lawsuits there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn't go for a Google cash grab too. It makes about as much sense as their Microsoft and Intel robberies.

Sure they can choose Intel, those kickbacks Intel give on the side will in no way hamper their choice ... except, they will. The stores won't stock AMD, you can choose a store too I guess, but the little ones will be out of business and the big ones will all be getting money on the side from Intel.

You're entire anti-monopoly point seems to be as long as there is more than 1 player, it doesn't matter what the hell the big kid does ... which is fine until in 5 years when there is only the big kid left standing.

What is it about cash? Would you prefer they didn't get a fine? Would you prefer that they were voluntarily given the money so they wouldn't investigate the company?

As for past lawsuits, they're not lawsuits - they're investigtions brought by the soveriegn government of the land.

Robberies? They put their money in Europe ... maybe because our economy isn't supported by war and debt and won't collapse in a few years.

C_Guy said,
People can choose to use Google / Windows / Intel / [Insert any technology here] or not, surely that's easy for anyone to understand.

When was the last time you had to pay Google? If I buy (bought) a PC, I have alway been forced to buy Microsoft, they even took royalties if no O/S was installed. Do a little homework... you are showing your age! Similarly Intel have done everything to destroy competition. The corruption by big business has just about brought the US economy to it's knees.

Wake up man... and the rest of America! Say goodbye to the once mighty Dollar, and your "freedom"!
The EU is part of the "New World Order" your president and his father have been working for!

Based on their past lawsuits there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn't go for a Google cash grab too. It makes about as much sense as their Microsoft and Intel robberies.

Uhh, robberies? Anyway, you're comparing apples and oranges here... If both Google and Doubleclick have complied to the EU privacy laws, what is your problem with these companies? Let's leave MS and Intel out of this -- they weren't even investigated for the same reasons as Google/Doubleclick could have been here.

Makes sense, the EU has privacy rules and you're either breaking them or you're not - Google isn't, Doubleclick isn't, no reason to think the two combined would.

So they should stick to the typical merger/aquisition investigation.

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Seems some people don't understand the US government investigates mergers too ...

Exactly, I don't even see the problem here, and it sounds like EU doesn't either. Just because companies merge doesn't mean they'll handle private information worse. In case they will, THEN it's a problem.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that Google already modified or was going to modify their privacy policy to be more in accordance to the EU?

Or that it isn't relevant. It's like them saying they're not going to be investigating the impact upon sexual discrimination in the workplace - that's not to say there is no issue there but just that it isn't relevant to the review.

on the competition aspects of the deal and not privacy issues.

this ppl is kidding, right?. Now what? europe now is america?. COME ON!.

No, there is no reason to investigate this.

Both Google and Doubeclick comply with EU privacy laws, the combined company surely would ... what is to investigate?

No country on earth has legislation outlawing a "privacy monopoly" ...

They're not interested in the privacy issue because there's no money in it for them. Fines levied on such a subject violation would be too easy to reverse on appeal. So no, they'll stick to competition "violations" wherein lies their best chance at a successful extortion attempt.

Why not? They seem to want to look at everything else... you'd think they would want to help protect the privacy of the EU Citizens and not just their operating system and office productivity interestes...

Because the privacy implications are independent of the competition regulations. If there are privacy concerns then they can be addressed later through sanctions or fines if necessary. So it's not about ignoring privacy implications but about handling them separately.