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EU’s anti-trust chief slams ‘irrational’ fears of Google

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The EU’s top anti-trust official sharply criticised the “irrational” response by European politicians to the Brussels investigation of search engine giant Google, a report said on Thursday.

“Google has provoked a lot of emotions and in some cases … some kind of irrational emotions,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the Wall Street Journal.

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Critics of Google see “this leviathan that will eliminate all our freedoms, all our privacy, all our rights and I think it isn’t logical,” he said.

Google is being investigated by the European Commission in response to complaints that its search engine, the world’s biggest, was squeezing out competitors in Europe.

Google and Almunia have made three attempts to resolve the dispute, but in each case intense pressure by national governments, Internet rivals and privacy advocates scuppered the effort.

Almunia, who steps down at the end of the month, told the newspaper he regretted the investigation had been muddied by politics.

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He added that the anger arose in part from the fact that European actors lagged so far behind US players Google — as well as Facebook and Amazon.

Google has said it is continuing to work with the Commission to fix any concerns in its search engine practice.

EU rules state that a company found at fault in an anti-trust probe can be fined up to 10 percent of its annual sales, in Google’s case about $55.5 billion in 2013.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

He also crushed the president for failing to make any progress on reopening the Chinese market to American goods.

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‘Pretty brutal day on Wall St’: CNN explains impact of Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades

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On Friday, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade against China.

....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

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Google tells workers to avoid arguing politics in house

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Google on Friday told employees to focus on work instead of heated debates about politics with colleagues at the internet company, which has long been known for encouraging people to speak their minds.

Updated workplace guidelines for "Googlers" called on them to be responsible, helpful, and thoughtful during exchanges on internal message boards or other conversation forums.

"While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not," the updated guidelines stated.

"Our primary responsibility is to do the work we?ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics."

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