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Confused EU Regulators Slam Google

 |  July 10, 2017

Posted by PYMNTS

Confused EU Regulators Slam Google

Nobody can pinpoint the exact origin of the phrase “Can’t see the forest for the trees,” but that hasn’t stopped countless people all over the internet debating its proper citation, grammar and philosophical interpretation.

Where there appears to be common ground, however, is in what the phrase means: Being so focused on the details of one thing can cause people to lose perspective and miss a much more important and relevant bigger picture — often at their peril.

It’s also a great metaphor for what we just witnessed last week when the European Commission found Google guilty of anti-competitive practices over its Google Shopping product and levied a record $2.7 billion fine on them.

This ruling comes seven years after an investigation was opened into these alleged “anticompetitive practices” (November 2010) and two years after Google was formally charged (April 2015).

The saga is well-documented, so I’ll spare you the lengthy narrative. The Cliff Notes version is that a bunch of tiny websites convinced the Commission that Google’s Shopping product put them at a disadvantage when consumers were searching for products. Google Shopping is the little carousel of product images that consumers see at the top of Google’s search results page and for which marketers pay to be there.

These little guy sites, who pushed the Commission to open an investigation in the years leading up to 2010, had some big help — Microsoft.

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