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26/10/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
Google is under investigation in Europe

Google search results ruled free speech

Court Affirms Googles First Amendment Control Of Search Results

Google search results are protected under the First Amendment, and the company has the complete right to arrange them as it sees fit, according to a recent ruling by a San Francisco court. The US court decision contrasts with European regulators, which are moving to take action to address Google´s domination of the search market.
Ibercampus 19/11/2014 Send to a friend
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 A San Francisco court declared that Google can arrange its search results however it likes, in stark contrast to the decision of European regulators.

The owner of a website called CoastNews, S. Louis Martin, argued that Google was unfairly putting CoastNews too far down in search results, while Bing and Yahoo were turning up CoastNews in the number one spot. CoastNews claimed that violated antitrust laws. It also took issue with Google´s refusal to deliver ads to its website after CoastNews posted photographs of a nudist colony in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the superior court of California in San Francisco declared that Google’s search results are protected under free speech laws in the US, dismissing a lawsuit that claimed Google biased its results to exclude the CoastNews website run by Louis Martin.

Goldsmith’s decision contrasts with European regulators, which are moving to take action to address Google’s domination of the search market. Google is under investigation in Europe for being anti-competitive and giving prominence to its own services over over rivals including Microsoft and Yelp.

The European commission re-opened its four-year antitrust investigation into Google’s search and advertising business in September, after Joaquín Almunia, the EC’s antitrust chief at the time, said he received “very, very negative” responses from the proposed settlement with Google unveiled in the spring.

The European competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, who took over from Almunia on 1 November, said she would take time to review the case with Google.

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