Eric Schmidt’s interview for The Sunday Telegraph revealed the company’s intentions of carefully tackling the EU search inquiry. Schmidt hopes for the European Commission to “come up with a set of remedies” that Google would thoroughly consider as long as it “protects its interests.” Google might agree to change some of its algorithm methods in search, but would certainly not go as far as allowing ‘spam sites to climb to the top of the search results. Google carefully guards how it ranks search to prevent sites with little original content forcing their way into top rankings.’
Schmidt’s approach might have been influenced by Microsoft’s experience with the European Union, a long and complicated affair with EU anti-trust investigations, which went on to court. Microsoft was fined by the European Union at the end of the 90’s over competition transgressions with 1.68 billion Euros, and only in 2009 did it announce that the company finally managed to address the software issues.
In the last period, Google faced numerous legal battles beyond its search algorithm, from Street Views data collection tactics to Android, and even its ITA acquisition. German officials sued Google for violating the privacy of citizens with the Google Street View initiative, but the company went on with its plans and actually integrated in the platform Germany’s 20 most important cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.
The $700 million deal between Google and ITA Software Inc. was under the Justice Department’s investigation as Google was considered to use the data for its benefits. Google refuted the claim, saying the service would be used to provide relevant results for flight data, and did not intend to sell tickets. The coalition is not convinced though, for the deal can give Google the authority to limit access to ITA’s software.