06.27.2017 09:26 AM

Are Google and its execs crooked? (Also, bonus Canadian Minister of Hubris links.)

The European Union certainly seems to think so:

The European Union’s competition watchdog has slapped a record 2.42 billion euro fine — roughly $3.6 billion Cdn — on internet giant Google for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service.

European regulators said Tuesday that “Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.”

It gave the Mountain View, Calif., company 90 days to stop or face fines of up to five per cent of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Closer to home, meanwhile, there’s this from the office of the camera-loving, gaffe-prone, possibly-doomed Minister of Heritage, who has done a singularly lousy job of promoting Canada 150:

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly’s chief of staff has been lobbied by her former employer Google six times in 2017, which the Conservatives and NDP tell Global News raises concerns as her department plans to overhaul the laws which regulate the media industry in which the U.S.-based tech giant has emerged as one of the world’s most powerful companies.

Leslie Church joined Joly’s office following the 2015 federal election straight from Google Canada, where she served as director of communications for three years and seven months according to her LinkedIn page. (The sixth meeting in 2017 was to discuss “science and technology.” Church was lobbied once by Google in all of 2016.)

Ironically, all of these links were found using a search engine other than Google.


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    Matt says:

    Joly should be turfed for merely suggesting she will set up a $350 million fund to bail out Canadian media.

    Yeah. That’s just what we need. More media on the government payroll.

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    Matthew says:

    Lol, ‘Don’t be evil’ is getting run over by fiduciary duty and self interest. Public corporations are gonna do evil. They have a duty to the shareholders, and the law governs them, not ethics.

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    Charlie says:

    No one has really been watching Melanie Joly, but she is quietly becoming the embodiment of the worst criticisms of Trudeau. Until recently, she has gone relatively under the radar a she makes herself quite the entity in the entertainment scene of Canada. Instead of running her department as a minister, she has run it like a congratulation-seeking philanthropist.

    She massively bungled the languages commissioner appointment and has largely been making her way around Canada as a promoter than the head of a federal department.

    But this is just another example of another Trudeau cabinet appointee with a huge experience deficit and very little oversight from the PMO.

    Though I doubt she’ll be going anywhere, anytime soon. One of the perks of being a close friend of Trudeau is that you’re threshold for removal is higher than others.

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