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Google Feels The Need of Common Rules Globally For Tech Regulation

In the absence of any federal regulation in the US, the state of California is mulling its own privacy laws

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

With data protection legislations being different in different parts of the world, a top Google executive has called for “common rules of the road” globally for regulation of technology companies.

While agreeing that a one size fits all approach may not work, some “convergence” of regulation globally is desirable, Karan Bhatia, Vice President of Global Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, said during a CNBC-hosted panel at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday.

“Some coordination on this, some level of collaboration, I think is going to be absolutely critical. We are very supportive of international efforts on multiple fronts to sort of create that level of dialogue and ideally common rules of the road,” Bhatia was quoted as saying by CNBC.

“I think it would be extremely helpful if there was some convergence,” he added.

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on May 25 last year governs all companies operating in the 28 European Union member states, other countries, and in some cases different states in the same country, may have their own rules.

India, for example, is gearing up to come up with its own data protection law and China has its own rules around content censorship.

Also Read- YouTube May No Longer Recommend Conspiracy Videos

In the absence of any federal regulation in the US, the state of California is mulling its own privacy laws.

Bhatia also called for a federal approach to privacy legislation in the US. (IANS)

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EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

The European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

“Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts,” EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.

“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said.

The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google’s turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.

“The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition,” Vestager said.

Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.

Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of “publisher” websites.

Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages.

Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.

Also Read- Samsung to Launch its First 5G Smartphone in Market in April

Google was by far the strongest player in online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA), with a market share above 70 per cent from 2006 to 2016.

Google’s provision of online search advertising intermediation services to the most commercially important publishers took place via agreements that were individually negotiated.

The Commission reviewed hundreds of such agreements in the course of its investigation and found that starting in 2006, Google included exclusivity clauses in its contracts.

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages, the European Commission said. (IANS)