Google’s business practices are being called into question by the European Commission. Recently Google has been involved in an antitrust case claiming it has developed an unfair business advantage in web traffic.

Those claims are based on a few of Google’s business practices that the European Commission had deemed unfair. The claim includes Google giving its own services, products and pages an unnaturally high ranking in its own indexing system.

What Google Is Doing Wrong

Mashable reports the four key areas of concern to be:

1. Google’s displaying of links to its own specific search products, such as Google News, in general search results, which the Commission argues reduces competition.
2. Google’s taking of content, such as restaurant reviews from other services, for its own products, which the Commission believes might reduce the creation of original content on the web.
3. Google’s exclusive advertising deals with partners, which the Commission worries unfairly squeezes out Google’s competition.
4. Google’s limitation on data being transferred from AdWords to competitors’ services, which the Commission said limits software developers’ ability to create products that utilize cross-platform search advertising.

What This Means For Google In The Future

Ultimately I really don’t expect anything to change. Google has the resources to survive any kind of penalty or lawsuit that might come against its company.

If Google has been able to develop its brand and product into the web juggernaut that it is today, they should be allowed a little wiggle room in promoting its own services.

Self-promotion is something that pretty much every company in existence is doing, and it seems out of place to try and penalize Google for doing the same thing. They’ve earned the right to pat themselves on the back.

Additionally Google has actually been losing market share (in terms of search traffic) over the past few months. Bing has made some drastic changes to its search service and has gained a little ground.

Do you agree with the European Commission’s decision to try and force Google to change its ways? More importantly, do you think they will actually work?

Scott Sundblom