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.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options