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Google Fights Back Against EU Charges

Global Marketing News – 1st September 2015

Google fights back against EU charges

Google has filed a formal response to EU allegations of anti-competitive behaviours.

Google stands accused of deploying tactics to boost the ranking of its own Google Shopping price comparison services, whilst pushing rival services offered by competitors further down the search results by demoting the value of their links or simply refusing to list them altogether.

The search engine has responded by saying it rejects the accusations, calling them “wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics”.

Google claims that it has increased the amount of traffic to competitor price comparison sites by 227% over the past decade and that numerous new price comparison sites are launching all over Europe, thereby proving that its practices are not anti-competitive.

The search engine also says that it does not have a legal duty to drive traffic to competitor price comparison sites, as it is not the sole search engine available to European users, i.e. users can simply use another search engine if they wish.

And finally, it accuses the European Commission of underestimating the number of people who use competitor services such as eBay and Amazon when shopping online.

The EU has acknowledged receipt of Google’s response, saying: “We will carefully consider Google’s response before taking any decision on how to proceed and do not want to prejudge the final outcome of the investigation”.

If the charges against Google are successful, the search engine may be forced to pay fines of up to 10% of its revenue, which could total as much as 6.6 billion US dollars.

Amazon Prime Instant Video to launch in Japan

Amazon is to launch its Prime Instant Video service in Japan.

Amazon’s Japanese Prime Instant Video service will allow users to watch Japanese and American films, TV programmes and cartoons.

Prime membership will cost 3,900 yen per year, equivalent to around 33 US dollars.

Amazon is the second major international online video company to announce its entry into the Japanese market in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, the online TV company Netflix announced that it would be launching in the Japanese market on 2nd September, its first foray into Asia.

Ola teams up with ecommerce companies in India

The Indian taxi app Ola has announced partnerships with various ecommerce companies in an effort to attract users and keep existing users from defecting to competitors such as Uber.

Ola’s e-wallet system Ola Money can now be used to pay for services from the popular Indian companies Lenskart, Oyo Rooms, Saavn, Zopper, Busindia and Zoomin.

Ola Wallet users can get discounts from some of these partners, with the hotel company Oyo Rooms offering 40% discounts to Ola Wallet users.

Ola hopes that such discounts and the easy one-click payment method that Ola Money offers will be enough to incentivise users to stick with Ola rather than switch to a competitor.

Ola is one of the leading taxi booking apps in India, processing around 1 million rides a day. Its main competitor is Uber, which currently processes around 200,000 rides a day.

Star Wars launches marketing campaign on YouTube

And finally, Disney is soon to kick off its online marketing campaign for Star Wars toys and merchandise.

On 3rd September, Disney will unveil the new toys on an hourly basis in cities all around the world, with the unveilings all being filmed and uploaded to YouTube.

It will also have coverage on the American TV station ABC.

The unveilings are designed to be an exciting build up for when the toys will be released for sale in stores, at midnight.

The toy industry is worth billions worldwide. Sales of toys in the US alone are expected to reach almost 20 billion US dollars this year.

The new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will be released in cinemas on the 18th December.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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