Germany Wants Google’s Search Algorithm


Google’s search algorithm is a pretty highly classified piece of material right up there with the Coke recipe and the Colonel’s chicken. I’m fairly certain that Google has the formula under armed guard 24/7. Now Germany’s justice minister Heiko Maas is asking Google to give up that secret so the European Commission can better understand why the search giant dominates the European market.

“Maas said it was necessary to address Google’s “exceptional” and “extraordinary” power in Europe over both consumers and market operators.”

“When a search engine has such an impact on economic development, this is an issue we have to address,” he told the Financial Times.

Google handles around 70 percent of web searches in the US, whereas in Germany and France it’s closer to 95 percent, according to StatCounter. Comscore meanwhile estimated in February Google had about 75 percent of the overall European search market.

Mass is in charge of consumer protection in Germany and believes that Google’s dominance as a search engine gives them an unfair advantage to promote their own business interests. There is no doubt Mass has a valid argument here and he’s diligently doing his job to work with Google to figure it out.

The most contentious aspect of Google’s ongoing run-in with European competition regulators is the way it favours its own vertical search services. While earlier this year it seemed that Google’s proposals to address the EC’s concerns on that score would be accepted, the Commission has now asked Google to improve its suggested remedies. A further threat on the horizon for Google is a potential European investigation into Android, following complaints about Google’s Play app store and the bundling of key Google apps with the free OS.

There was whispering of possibly breaking up Google in Europe but Mass said that would be a “last resort” move and it’s too premature to even have that play on the board. What do you think of Google’s search dominance in Europe and even in the US? Do you think Google’s search algorithm gives it an unfair advantage? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

  Source: ZDNet
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