Feeling slighted by Google’s dominance in search? In Europe, you may soon be able to sue for damages. A new proposal published today by the European Commission proposes to spell out the details, and effectively make it easier and quicker, for consumers and businesses to sue large companies when they feel that they have been the victims of antitrust violations.
Under EU data privacy laws under consideration, companies like Google and Microsoft will be hit with fines that could top $1 billion USD.
The proposed laws follow a series of negligible fines received by both companies that Viviane Reding, the EU’s justice commissioner, dismissed as “pocket money.”
Indeed I have said as much in this space.
Earlier this month, Google was fined $20
Looks like the European Commission is following through on what it’s been reportedly planning to do for weeks: it has filed a formal complaint against Microsoft for antitrust violations related to Internet Explorer and giving consumers a clear way to choose another browser when using Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
France has just handed out a fine against Google for failing to comply with the country’s Data Protection Act.
What’s the fine amount? A measly USD $204,000 (€150,000)! That’s against a company whose market cap is more than USD $381 billion. At current share prices, that’s the equivalent of 178 Google shares.
The European Union today became the latest official body to back an open Internet, ahead of an important United Nations meeting to update Internet and telecoms regulation for the first time in 24 years.
The California Public Utilities Commission has taken its next step against a new breed of transportation startups in San Francisco, issuing citations and leveling fines against the likes of ride-sharing services Lyft and SideCar, as well as on-demand car and taxi startup Uber.
Regulators are not known to be fleet of foot when it comes to responding to market conditions — it can take years for something to get passed, or for fines to be levied on companies that violate antitrust rules, for example — but you can’t knock them for trying.