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.
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.
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.
‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war
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.
‘Pretty brutal day on Wall St’: CNN explains impact of Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades
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
Google tells workers to avoid arguing politics in house
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."