Define ‘monopoly:’ Foundem’s argument against Google linking to Google

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Yesterday, after the European Commission announced it had sent Google earlier in the month copies of complaints it had received from three search providers that Google refused to rank their search results highly in its index, the company Google had the least to say about was Foundem. That’s a British shopping site that aggregates the results from UK online retailers’ catalogs. As the EC said yesterday, the inquiry has not yet triggered an investigation.

Although the EC keeps private the contents of complaints it forwards on to the subjects of inquiries, there’s a very good chance that Foundem’s complaint may echo the public comment it filed with the US Federal Communications Commission, ostensibly with respect to its request for ideas for “Preserving the Open Internet.” In that document (PDF available here), Foundem alleges that Google threatens the desired state of the Internet — something commissioners have referred to as “search neutrality” — by giving prominent placement to Google services in search results, under the label, “Universal Search.”

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