World
EU levels antitrust charges against Google
The European Commission has accused Google of abusing its dominance in internet searches by "systematically" promoting its own products, while it announced the opening of an antitrust investigation to include its Android mobile operating system, Efe news agency reported on Wednesday.
 
"The European Commission has sent a statement of objections to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant position in the markets for general internet search services in the European Economic Area by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product in its general search results pages," the commission said in a statement.
 
"The commission's preliminary view is that such conduct infringes EU antitrust rules because it stifles competition and harms consumers," the statement said.
 
European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said in a press conference that their "preliminary view in the statement of objections is that in its general internet search results, Google artificially favors its own comparison-shopping service, and that this constitutes an abuse."
 
She clarified that the accusations did not prejudge the findings of investigations, noting that Google would be given the opportunity to defend itself to the commission
 
However, Vestager warned, "If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe."
 
Google monopolises online search engines in the European Economic Area, with market shares above 90 percent in most countries in the region.
 
Vestager noted that "dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition either in markets where they're dominant or in neighbouring markets."
 
However, she made it clear that the European Commission did "not wish to interfere with design choices, how things are presented, or how the algorithm works", but wished that web users in Europe would be guaranteed to access the most pertinent search results, not those backed by Google.
 
The commission launched investigations in 2010 to determine whether Google's business model could amount to an abuse of a dominant position by restricting competition in the field of web searches and online advertising, with the help of 45 experts working exclusively on the case plus other technicians from other services.
 
The company will have 10 weeks in which to put together a defence, and will be given an audience with the heads of European Competition Commission, however, if the company does not comply, a fine of up to 10 percent of Google's turnover could be incurred -- about 5.65 billion euros ($6 billion) according to its 2014 accounts.
 
The commission specified that it would continue its formal investigation into Google on the other counts of suspicions, such as possible favoritism for other search results, copying content of competitor websites, and unreasonable restrictions to advertisers.
 
At the same time, the European Commission has opened a separate investigation to determine whether Google promoted anti-competitive agreements with manufacturers of phones and tablets to exclusively use its open source operating system Android.
 
Thomas Vinje, legal adviser and spokesman of the international FairSearch coalition in Europe, with members such as Expedia, Nokia, Oracle, and Microsoft International, applauded the decision and noted that more than 30 companies and consumer organisations have denounced the behaviour of Google, which "has devastated its opponents".
 

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Nifty, Sensex, Bank Nifty weak: Wednesday closing report
If Nifty remains below 8,752 it will be headed further lower
 
We had mentioned in our Monday’s closing report that the NSE’s CNX Nifty is still in an uptrend and a close below 8,750 may weaken its move. Contrary to our anticipation, the 50-share index witnessed a weak move on Wednesday. A flat opening on the Nifty was followed by its moving lower. The benchmark made an attempt to come back in the green however, after a short while of trading in the positive, in the noon session, Nifty was pulled lower, where it broke the support of 8,750 and closed in the red, after seven days of positive closing.
 
S&P BSE Sensex opened at 29,087 while CNX Nifty opened at 8,845. Sensex moved to the low of 28,722 from the high of 29,095 and closed at 28,800 (down 245 points or 0.84%). Nifty moved from the high of 8,845 to the low of 8,722 and closed at 8,750 (down 84 points or 0.95%). Bank Nifty which was moving in range for almost the entire session gave the entire gains in the last few minutes of training. After opening at 18,849 the index moved from the high of 19,039 to the low of 18,616 and closed at 18,716 (down 82 points or 0.44%). NSE recorded a volume of 97.28 crore shares. India VIX rose 0.91% to close at 14.6200.
 
Indian government data released, aftermarket hours on Monday, showed that the all-India general CPI inflation slowed down to three-month low of 5.2% in March 2015 (new base 2012=100) from 5.4% in February 2015.
 
The government will today unveil data on wholesale price index (WPI) for March 2015.
In his address at the inauguration of the Indo-German Business Summit in Hannover, Germany, among other things Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is planning to introduce metro rail in fifty cities and high speed trains in various corridors. He also said that India is modernising its Railway systems including signals and railway stations.
 
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reportedly emphasised the need for India to push forward the reforms agenda, including a cut in subsidies, even as they remained largely optimistic about the economic prospects of the country and pointed out that it would do better than China. The forecasts, both projected that the economy would expand by 7.5% this financial year. IMF said in its bi-annual World Economic Outlook, released in Washington DC yesterday that India's growth at 7.5% in 2015-16 will surpass China's decelerating growth of 6.8% in the same year.
 
According to a report, gold prices today fell by Rs180 to trade at Rs26,870 per 10 gram at the bullion market in the national capital.
 
Coming back to Indian  stock market, Gujarat Gas (11.36%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It has received 300 months of infrastructure exclusivity i.e. valid up to 1 April 2040 and 60 months of marketing exclusivity valid up to 1 April 2020 for the natural gas distribution network for the geographical area of Thane. It has received from PNGRB an authorisation to lay, build, operate, or expand city or local natural gas distribution network in Thane.
 
Wockhardt (6.57%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE.
 
Sesa Sterlite (3.32%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack, while BHEL (3.43%) was the top loser in the pack.
 
On Tuesday, US indices showed mixed closing.
 
Sales, at US retailers, rose in March by the largest amount in a year, rebounding after three straight monthly declines. US producer prices rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in March after four straight monthly declines, the Labor Department said yesterday.
 
Asian indices showed mixed closing. Straits Times (0.54%) was the top gainer while Shanghai Composite (1.24%) was the top loser.
 
China's economy expanded at its slowest pace in six years in the first quarter, weighed down by a slumping property market, industrial overcapacity and sluggish overseas demand. China's gross domestic product rose 7% from a year earlier in the first quarter, slowing from 7.3% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 7.4% for all of last year.
 
European indices were trading in the green.  US Futures too were trading higher.
 
European Central Bank rate decision will be declared later today.

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Petrol price cut by 80 paise per litre, diesel by Rs.1.30
State-run Indian Oil Corp on Wednesday said it has reduced prices of transport fuels effective midnight by 80 paise a litre for petrol and by Rs.1.30 a litre for diesel, both including local taxes in Delhi.
 
The price of petrol in Delhi will be Rs.59.20 per litre, while diesel will be Rs.47.20 a litre from Thursday, with corresponding price revision in other states, IOC said in a statement here.
 
The trend of international prices of the fuels, and of the rupee-US dollar exchange rate, warranted a downward revision in prices, it added.  

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