Google Antitrust / Office of Fair Trading

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Two articles about legal issues this week: first a column for the Belfast Telegraph where I discuss the antitrust suit the European Commission is investigating against Google. I believe that the EU might have a strong case against Google:

Belfast Telegraph: The Google Antitrust Suit

The EU recently announced it is investigating a potential antitrust case against Google. One of the components of this investigation is the accusation that Google gives preference to its own online properties on its search results.

And for State of Search I wrote an article about the recent action taken by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading against a company that paid bloggers to write promotional blog posts. This judgement could have repercussions for, among others, paid linking programmes:

State of Search: UK OFT Judgement Could Have Impact On Linkbuilding

While writing promotional material is not misleading in and of itself, what the OFT did have a problem with was that these posts/comments/tweets did not include a statement that they were paid for. The OFT concluded that this was misleading and against the Consumer Protection Act.

As it turns out I may have had a bit of foresight there, as two days after writing this post the Advertising Standards Authority announced it will investigate SEO practices.

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