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While Google's Anger is Unleashed in a European Court Case, Some believe an all-out EU-US Trade War is Brewing



A new report today states that Google attacked the European Union for basing its record-breaking 2.4 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) penalty in June against the search-engine giant on untested antitrust theories. While on the surface it looks like another day, another US tech giant under the EU Commision's microscope. But is there more behind this recent shift by the EU Commission against U.S. Companies?  


The Bloomberg report further noted that "Google contends that a fine "was not warranted" on grounds that the European Commission put forward a novel theory and previously signaled the case could be solved without a financial penalty by initially seeking an amicable solution with the Alphabet Inc. unit. The details of Google's court appeal at the EU's Luxembourg-based General Court were revealed Monday in the bloc's Official Journal.


After losing its its biggest regulatory battle yet, Google is bringing the matter to EU courts in a legal challenge filed in September that could take years to conclude.


EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager took over the Google probe in 2014 from her predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, who had sought to finalize a settlement with Google but failed to reach a satisfactory accord as his term came to an end. The deal would have included binding concessions from Google in exchange for the EU dropping the probe without levying any fines."


What we're seeing here is the EU not wanting to compromise, it wants to punish U.S. companies because the EU is financially collapsing and they need to rip into U.S. companies as deeply and as quickly as possible. Am I out of line saying this?


Well, I read an extraordinary report earlier this morning that could actually provide the Bloomberg report with a little more background and perhaps context to a much larger game playing out. One orchestrated by the EU Commission that began with Apple. It's a report titled "The EU's definitive defeat: digital tax plans and a declaration of surrender to Silicon Valley," by none other than Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.


Mueller, a German citizen, provides us with a perspective rarely heard. Mueller notes that "the EU appears to have given up on its ambitions for the digital economy. Instead, its focus is on a new tax that could lead to a full-blown trade war with the U.S. and would definitely harm European companies and consumers in the end."


Further, Mueller notes that "Unfortunately, the Commission's tax initiative has drawn support even from normally libertarian, free-market and fiscally conservative parties such as Germany's FDP, whose secretary-general said last week that she wants to impose higher taxes on the likes of "Apple, Google, and Facebook."


Mueller adds that "Whatever may or may not happen in the end, it's already clear that the EU's dubious "state-aid case" against Apple was just an attempt by the Commission's competition enforcement arm to position itself as the vanguard of the EU's tax crusade against the digital economy's winners. This is just the behavior of sore losers." Ouch!


While Apple and other companies are baffled at the viciousness of the attacks from the European Commission, Mueller's report explains it's something that's been part of the EU's plan for some time now and that Europe, with its open boarder policies along with multiple gaffs could put Europe into financial jeopardy.


On this part of the story, Mueller specifically states that "The EU has a huge competitiveness issue already, and due to the Eurozone's lack of innovation, especially in its Mediterranean member states, the sovereign-debt crisis is never going to be resolved. The European Central Bank is, in some ways unlawfully, keeping Europe's south afloat and will do so for some more time, but at some point there will be a crisis of unprecedented proportions--either an acute and dramatic crisis or an extended depression from which the Eurozone as an economic area won't really recover.


For this reason Mueller wants to leave Germany and head to the U.S. in the not-too-distant future. For more on this, read the full Mueller report here.


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