Legal: Regulation

EU to ask Google, others to publicly reveal ranking factors

According to a report from Reuters, the European Commission has proposed new rules that will require search engines, commerce sites and online platforms to explain how they rank results and to reveal why companies are penalized or removed from listings or results. The stated intention is to bring more transparency to these companies’ operations and …

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Federal Election Commission proposal toughens political ads disclosure rules

The nature of political advertising is manipulation and deception. This was taken to extremes in 2016 as fake news and ads from outside actors and extremist groups sought to manipulate public opinion and influence the presidential election. Now, with Russia expected to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is considering …

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Google, Getty Images enter a multi-year global licensing partnership

Late last week, Google parent Alphabet and Getty Images announced a sweeping partnership that effectively ends a long-standing copyright and antitrust dispute between Getty and Google, which was filed in early 2016. The newly announced deal was characterized by Getty as “a multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its …

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FCC repeals net neutrality by party line vote

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted 3 to 2 along party lines to repeal net neutrality. This happened despite widespread public opposition, comment fraud by repeal supporters and the last-minute request of Republican Sen. Susan Collins to delay the vote. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, has mocked and called net …

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Investors anxious about Google traffic acquisition costs, which regulation could further increase

Google’s traffic acquisition costs (TAC) have been climbing. As Google’s ad revenues grow, so does the money it pays to partners and distributors. Investors are particularly sensitive to this issue. In response to investor questions, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat explained recently that Google’s increasing traffic costs are partly about mobile and programmatic growth, which have …

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CSEs will compete head-on with Google Shopping in EU search results

Ads from Comparison Shopping Engines will start appearing in Google Shopping results on September 27, 2017. In response to the European Commission’s antitrust ruling — and record $2.7 billion fine — against Google for favoring its own content, the search giant is making some changes to the way it handles Google Shopping results in the …

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How the Russian search market looks now

As Search Engine Land first reported in October of 2015, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) determined that Google violated Russian competition laws by banning phone manufacturers from preinstalling competitors’ apps, and requiring those same phone manufacturers to preinstall selected Google apps on Android in exchange for access to the Google Play Store. Well, after nearly …

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Yelp says Google violated ‘do not crawl’ provision of 2013 FTC settlement agreement

Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com Yelp has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asserting that Google is improperly using Yelp images in local search results in violation of its 2013 antitrust settlement with the regulatory agency. Yelp also circulated the letter to several members of Congress and state attorneys general, according to a …

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