Last week EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia brought Ralph Waldo Emerson’s warning to mind when he said: “The Commission possesses all the elements necessary to evaluate Google’s proposals in a neutral and objective manner.”
Almunia looked like he was going to settle with Google. “I think the proposals put on the table by Google at the start of the year could resolve antitrust concerns,” he said.
The proposals might settle Almunia’s concerns but they don’t settle many other peoples’ concerns including the German Economics Minister and the French Digital Minister who have written to Almunia criticising the proposed settlement.
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament who is a candidate for the Presidency of the EC, says he will negate any unsatisfactory deal done by Almunia if wins the presidency.
The feeling is that Europe must be very tough on the American technology companies following Edward Snowden’s revelations that these companies act as agents for the NSA.