The EU, the Google Gaggle & the Trillionaires’ Club

no bullyin

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Ruth O’Brien

The best way to figure out the law is to mixTor with Netflix — or at least, that has been my experience the last five years (which in tech years, according to Moore’s law, is somewhere between 10 and 50 years).

My computer knew I had left American soil before my European friends knew I’d arrived!  So the real lead is that EU competition commissioner (or let’s say competition “czar”) Joaquín Almunia — with his colleagues in the 28-country bloc — has got to figure out how the EU is going to compete with the gaggle (not just Google but the entire communications industry) under what I call information imperialism.

Will the EU limit it to antitrust (monopolies), or will Europe get more adventurous with information taxes and/or data mining — particularly the offensive “eye tracking”?  (The very term makes me want to go to the ophthalmologist for better sunglasses.)

I always use Venere rather than Expedia — much better hole-in-the-wall or authentic choices, no matter how many Google cars I saw climbing over the Alps.

Supposedly, if Google doesn’t settle, it faces up to $6 billion in fines.  Is that enough?  Will they deliver it in nickels, dimes, or quarters, I wonder, though this could be part of the trail of disinformation provided by Apple or Samsung.  (What we do know is the lawyers earned over a billion dollars and counting.)  But $6 billion doesn’t sound like much to trillionaires.

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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see

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