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Russia slams cheating Google with new anti-trust charges


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(NaturalNews) Media and search giant Google is in trouble again for something the company has done in the past: rigging search results to favor its own products over those of competitors.

As reported by The New York Times, Russian authorities have leveled antitrust charges against Google, alleging that the San Francisco-based tech company has been abusing its dominant market position with its mobile operating system Android "by favoring the company's own devices over those of rivals, including Yandex, a Russian competitor."

In filings, Russian regulatory officials said that Yandex began complaining earlier this year to the country's competitive authority that cellphone makers were not able to include the firm's rival digital products in the Android operating system. After making complaints, regulators began investigating whether Google was unfairly bundling its own services, such as Google Maps, in Android software.

For Google, this is just business as usual

The Times further reported:

Unlike in other parts of the world, where Google has outmuscled domestic search rivals, Yandex still holds more than a 50 percent market share in Russian online search, according to industry statistics.

The Russian regulator intends to make the details of its decision public soon, officials said. Google could appeal the ruling, but it's not clear that will happen. If the decision holds, Google will have to change the kind of services included in its Android systems in order to comply with Russian rules of competition. Otherwise, the firm could face fines.

Not surprisingly, Yandex applauded the ruling.

"Russia is the first jurisdiction to have officially recognized these practices as anticompetitive," the company said in a statement, referring to Google's favoring of its own services in Android over those of rivals. Yandex added that the antitrust ruling would "serve to restore competition in the market."

Russian regulators are not alone in scrutinizing Google. Authorities in Europe and other international antitrust organizations are also taking a closer look at Google's business practices.

In fact, the European Union antitrust regulator has also brought charges against Google, the Times reported, alleging market abuse related to some of its online search services. In addition, local officials are looking into similar questions surrounding Android's operating system; there has been no decision yet on whether formal charges will be filed on the latter.

"Other international watchdogs from South America to Asia also are examining how the company collects data on its users, the level of privacy that Google offers individuals and how it controls the lion's share of people's online search activity," the Times added.

There is a search alternative

Google has a long history of manipulating its search results and promoting its own products and services over those of paying customers, as we have reported for years.

In 2012, we reported that the media giant was likely manipulating search results to exclude all vitamins and natural products.

"The latest attack on free speech in America comes from the FDA and is supported by Google Adwords. NaturalNews has learned that the FDA is quietly, and without notice to affected companies, commanding Google to disable the full Adwords accounts of nutritional supplement companies offering 'detox' or 'chelation' nutritional products," NaturalNews editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported.

Google has also developed a reputation for monitoring and spying. In May, we reported that Google officials meet an average of once per week with members of the Obama administration

"Moreover, Google's influence on the internet has grown to frightening proportions in ways that destroy privacy and often make the NSA's surveillance capabilities look amateurish in comparison," we reported.

You can find many more examples here.

There is an alternative to the spying, government intrusion and ad manipulation: Good Gopher, the world's first privacy-protecting search engine that bans corporate propaganda and government disinformation. Check it out here and prepare to not be monitored, cheated or lied to.

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