Regulators eye Google in Argentina, South Korea

Google's online search and advertising services are under scrutiny by regulators in Argentina and South Korea, the company has confirmed.

Word of the probes came a day after the US Federal Trade Commission revealed it hired former Justice Department prosecutor Beth Wilkinson to head an investigation into whether Google abused its dominance in online search.

"We are delighted to have someone of her caliber helping us on such an important matter for the Commission," FTC bureau of competition director Richard Feinstein told AFP.

Wilkinson's formidable legal track record includes being a lead prosecutor on the team that convicted Timothy McVeigh in connection with the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Last year, US regulators launched a probe into Google's lucrative search and advertising business in a move that could pose the most serious legal challenge yet to the Internet giant.

The Mountain View, California-based company confirmed the FTC inquiry in a blog post at the time and expressed confidence it could withstand the scrutiny.

A line in Google's most recent quarterly report stated that Argentina's National Commission for the Defense of Competition and South Korea's Fair Trade Commission have opened investigations "into certain business practices."

The inquiry focused on Google in South Korea started last year, the company said, adding that it continues to cooperate with regulators there.

"The Argentinian Competition Commission notified us that they are conducting a preliminary inquiry into our search and search advertising services, and we are of course happy to answer their questions," Google said.

"Because competition on the Internet is just one click away and since using Google is a choice, we work hard to put our users' interests first."

As it has grown from a scrappy startup into an Internet titan, Google has branched out into various businesses, including online mapping, shopping, travel and providing operating systems for mobile phones and tablet computers.

But Google makes most of its money from search-related advertising and that is why investigations targeting its core business are seen by analysts as a potentially serious risk to the company.

Google has drawn increasing scrutiny from US and European regulators as it has grown over the years into an Internet powerhouse.

Earlier this month, US government telecom regulators ended an investigation into Google's "Street View" online mapping service gathering data from private wireless hotspots.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) enforcement bureau called for Google to pay a $25,000 penalty for stalling the probe but said that it could not accuse the Internet giant of breaking US law.

"We worked in good faith to answer the FCC's questions throughout the inquiry, and we're pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law," Google spokesperson Niki Fenwick said.

The FCC began the investigation in late 2010 after Google announced that Street View cars taking photographs of cities in more than 30 countries had inadvertently gathered data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi systems.

Information sucked up by passing Street View cars included passwords, emails, and other data that was being transmitted wirelessly over unprotected routers, according to the FCC.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China ignores global outcry vs reclamation
    China ignores global outcry vs reclamation

    On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …

  • Project NOAH exec receives recognition
    Project NOAH exec receives recognition

    Project NOAH executive director and University of the Philippines professor Mahar Lagmay recently received recognition from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for his work in disaster risk reduction and mitigation in the Philippines. …

  • Nightclub ban for US troops
    Nightclub ban for US troops

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said yesterday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipino he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow the 10-day annual military exercises, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow
    US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening  defense alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China’s increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Palace defends legal tack in sea row
    Palace defends legal tack in sea row

    There is nothing weak about taking the legal and diplomatic approach to push for the country’s claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea, Malacañang maintained yesterday. On Friday, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares led a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City to protest China’s massive reclamation activities in the Spratly island group to fortify its presence in the disputed waters. Colmenares also criticized the Philippine government for supposedly not doing enough to defend …

  • Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death
    Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death

    The sons of Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, yesterday appealed to government officials to do everything to spare their mother from death. “We love you,” Mark Daniel, 12, said when asked for a message for his mother following a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Mark Daniel, an incoming Grade 8 student, reiterated his appeal to those in power to help save his mother from death. His younger brother, …

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options