In today’s age of internet and technology, there’s no arguing over which giant dominates the part of it that is available for public access. Google LLC is an American Multinational Technology Company that is perhaps, the largest company providing internet – related services and products. This includes a bunch of the normal ones that you probably avail or make use of in some way or the other, in your everyday life or in the corporate sphere, such as Google Search Engine, online advertising technologies, software, cloud computing and hardware. Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, it has surpassed other such similar companies quite long back and now, leads the pack with subsidiaries like YouTube, AdMob, Dialogflow and other such important technologies or platforms. In essence, it is ‘THE’ internet giant that has originated from the US and now dominates internet usage patterns in almost all countries, except those where it is either banned, or self – restricted itself to offer its services either completely or partially.
As a regular or power user yourself, you must be using Google and some or many of its products every day for your own purposes. To the most part, Google offers its products and services for free. You can use its Google Search Engine, Gmail – emailing service, Google Cloud for online storage, document viewer, and also any of its subsidiaries like YouTube or AdMob. Of course, these services are technically free, but the only thing that Google takes from you in exchange for its services, is your personal data. Any data that you enter on Google, is information that they can then store and use as per their model, which is of course, legal and completely their choice. Plus, the Cookies that Google stores on your computer during your use, tracks your browsing pattern and choices in order to better cater to you its products and services. In case you think your data has been misused or if Google has breached any code of conduct, then you can file a legal case on them and charge them accordingly. Similarly, Google LLC, over its years of conduct in the industry, has faced its fair share of Legal proceedings, consisting of charges and complaints.
This is one of the most expensive civil penalties that Google Inc. has agreed to pay. As per reports, Google paid a record $22.5 Million USD to settle its Federal Trade Commission Charges because it had misrepresented to Apple Inc.’s Safari users that it would not place any tracking cookies on their browsers. Furthermore, it also violated the clause that more than tracking cookies, it would also not serve targeted ads to Apple’s Safari users. This was in clear violation of a previous privacy settlement that had been made between the FTC and the company. This settlement, is a way for FTC to continue its efforts in ensuring that companies actually do live up to the privacy promises and guarantees it makes to their customers.
Google, as the world’s most popular online search engine, earns or generates billions of dollars annually in revenues from online advertising services and selling the data it collects online. Cookies, basically, are pieces of computer texts placed in computers and phones which can collect information and then used to display targeted ads to specific customers. Not only this is the largest penalty the FTC has ever obtained for a civil penalty, but the order requires Google to disable the tracking cookies it had previous said that it would never place on any of their customer’s computers.
Google is quite well – known to be this IT giant that has dominated the internet with its search engine and other internet – enabled services, that caters to millions of users worldwide. As such, it is not uncommon for people to see Google taking advantage of its favorable position in the market to leverage things further into their odds. As such, Indian companies and MNCs operating in India like Flipkart, Nokia’s Maps division, MakeMy – Trip.com among others have all corroborated complaints, alleging how Google Inc. has abused its position in the market over them. This led to a collective response being gathered from over 30 businesses, including those in social networks, travel sites, content sites, e – commerce, etc.
Based on these findings, the director general of the CCI or the Cable Corporation of India filed a report that led to Google being accused of abusing its position in the market for rigging search results and its outcomes. The reason why this was quite significant in the history of charges levelled against Google is because it is the first case on a global record, that an Antitrust body like the CCI has raised such a charge against Google Inc. Following this charge, Microsoft had made an extensive report on other instances and how Google has even then, abused its power. Some of the other companies that corroborated to the CCI included Hungama Digital, Map – MyIndia.com, GroupM, etc.
Other than these two charges and in recent times, Google has also been slapped – on an EU fine of $5 Billion, for its Android antitrust abuse. The preliminary finding of the reports on Google’s actions and their doings indicated that it had 3 different types of illegal restrictions on how android was used. This naturally influenced its use of the search engine on Android devices and did not allow rivals to innovate or compete in a fair manner, deemed as illegal under the Antitrust rules of the European Union. Therefore, these are some of the more serious charges and complaints that have been raised against Google in the past and in recent times. Going by these charges and complaints, one can see how they can be quite important to keep an IT Giant like Google in check from taking undue advantage, or getting away with unethical measures and actions.
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