Google under fire from European Commission – UK skills technology gap – PayPal in quadrillion dollar error
Google under fire from the European Commission
The European Commission has rejected Google's proposed changes to how it displays its search results, as 'not good enough'.
The corporation has been criticised by the European Commission over its unfair display of search results, claiming it is putting competitors at a disadvantage by abusing its 'monopoly position.'
Joaquin Almunia, the European Commission chief who has been heading the investigation, stated on Wednesday that the search engine must rethink its proposal: "I concluded that proposals that Google sent to us months ago are not enough to overcome our concerns."
Google, who currently lay claim to 90 per cent of the European search market, have been warned by the EC that they must alter the presentation of their search results to quell concerns they are stifling the online presence of competitors. The interested parties including Microsoft, Expedia and Trip Advisor, belong to the lobbying group Fairsearch who want to increase online competition.
The extent of Google's power in the European market was discovered in November 2010 by the British vertical search company, Foundem, who demonstrated how Google owned resources consistently ranked higher than their own.
The four issues of concern Google has been asked to address are:
- Favouring its own services in search results
- How it displays content from other websites
- How it manages adverts that appear next to search results
- How its actions affect marketers' ability to purchase adverts through rival networks
The EC has had Google under an antitrust investigation since Foundem's complaint in 2010. Mr Almunia's team has been monitoring Google's dominance in the market that could lead to a fine of 10 per cent of their worldwide revenue if the changes are not made.
If successful, Europe will be the only area in the world to force Google to change the way it presents search and promoted results.
PayPal's $92 quadrillion error
A Pennsylvania man was surprised on Friday to find a windfall sum had appeared in his monthly PayPal statement.
Chris Reynolds, 56, discovered the whopping $92,233,720,368,547,800 figure on his statement from the online money transfer company, before checking his account to find the balance was in fact zero.
Reynolds, who has been a PayPal customer for 10 years, uses the account to buy and sell on eBay. The mistake, he told Daily News in Philadelphia, was 'quite a big surprise'.
When asked what he would have used the money for if he had truly become the world's richest man, the father of three said: "I was moved to be really generous by good fortune, I'm a very responsible guy [so] I would pay the national debt down first."
"Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price."
Despite crediting his account with a substantial amount of money, Mr Reynolds has said that 'they still don't trust me', after PayPal requested that he renew the credit card attached to the account.
The UK's digital skills gap
US companies such as Facebook and Google are struggling to fill positions in their UK branches with adequately qualified UK employees.
Investment in young digital talent in the UK has been an issue over the last couple of years, with regular calls for the IT curriculum to be altered to encompass elements of design, development and programming.
Intellect, the UK's technology trade association, claims that 100,000 people are needed to go into the digital sector every year. However, digital companies have stated that despite more investment from the government, school and university leavers are still not ready for work.
Facebook, which operates its only base outside of the US in London, has stated that it is frustrated at the lack of suitable candidates. Simon Milner, Facebook's head of policy said: "We don't tend to find a lot of British young people who are ready to come and work at Facebook."
Bruno Fernando Ruiz, senior fellow at Yahoo! commented on the situation that competition between companies for talented engineers is incredibly fierce. He stated that it's often a race for people with the right skills: "Google, Facebook, Twitter, us, we are in the same game competing for the same people."