EU to conclude Google antitrust cases in next few months

A man holds his smartphone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

A man holds his smartphone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

By Foo Yun Chee | OXFORD, ENGLAND

EU antitrust regulators will rule in the “next few months” whether Alphabet’s Google abused its dominance of internet searches and other areas, a senior European Commission official said on Monday, an outcome that could lead to a hefty fine.

The world’s most popular internet search engine has been in the Commission’s crosshairs since 2010 over the promotion of its own shopping service in internet searches at the expense of the services of rivals.

The EU competition enforcer opened a second front against Google last year as it charged the company with using its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals.

It has since leveled a third charge, that of blocking rivals in online search advertising. This relates to Google’s “AdSense for Search” platform, in which Google acts as an intermediary for websites such as online retailers, telecoms operators or newspapers. These searches produce results that include search ads.

“In the next few months, we will reach a decision on the Google cases, Google search, AdSense and to me the most interesting is Android,” Tommaso Valletti, the Commission’s chief competition economist, told a conference organized by the University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy.

The Commission has already warned Google that it would be fined if found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules. Sanctions could reach 10 percent of annual global turnover for each case.

Alphabet made consolidated revenues of around $90 billion in 2016.

Google has in the past rejected the accusations, saying that its innovations had increased choice for European consumers and promoted competition.

It made three unsuccessful attempts to settle the internet search case without any finding of wrongdoing and sanctions with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s predecessor, Joaquin Almunia.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Mark Potter)

TechFarms’ Graduate MSI Wins $10,000 in Florida’s Most Lucrative Business Plan Competition

Panama City Beach, FL, April 14, 2017 – TechFarms is pleased to announce that Mine Survival, Inc., a graduate of the technology incubator, has been awarded first place in the veteran category of the 2017 Innovation Awards. 

Designed to reward startups that demonstrate clear paths to profitability and local job creation, the Innovation Awards provide cash prizes to businesses located in or willing to relocate to Northwest Florida. This year saw a marked increase in submissions, with a total of 61 organizations entering, including companies from as far away as Colorado, New York and New Jersey. The competition was divided into four categories: student, veteran, pre-revenue and post-revenue. Just three entries in each category were selected as finalists.

At the two-day event in Pensacola Beach on April 12-13, finalists gave presentations before a panel of experts, and were then subjected to “Shark Tank”-style questioning by the judges. Rob Moran, president of MSI, presented his company’s emergency escape vest which provides coal miners with an emergency oxygen supply. In describing the experience, Moran says, “I was excited going into it, and only a little bit nervous.” He added, “I want to thank TechFarms – especially Steve Millaway – for all the assistance leading up to this event.” He also expressed appreciation to Innovation Coast for providing the opportunity to enter the competition.

Incorporated in 2014, MSI entered the TechFarms incubator to jump-start their development. The professional services, mentoring and other resources provided helped MSI to become a thriving, independent company, now employing five full-time staff. The $10,000 prize money, Moran says, will be dedicated to research and development of their second product.

About MSI: Mine Survival, Inc., based in Panama City Beach, is the premier manufacturer of cutting-edge surface rebreathers, devices designed to be used by miners in the event of a mine collapse or other emergency. More information is available at MineSurvival.com.

New Angel Firm to Target Early-Stage Technology Startups

TechFarms Capital Management launches startup funds targeting select geographic areas in the Southeastern United States.

 Panama City, FL, October 3, 2016 – Today at the 2016 Gulf Power Economic Symposium TechFarms Founder and CEO Steve Millaway took the opportunity to announce the launch of a new angel firm targeting tech startups in the Southeast.  

Presenting this afternoon on the importance of entrepreneurial development in regional economic development planning, Millaway highlighted the dynamic role entrepreneurs can play and also, the importance of securing capital for them.

“Tech entrepreneurs play a vital role in economic development. The startups typically begin in homes, warehouses, and incubators, organically growing ecosystems that eventually attract larger tech and manufacturing firms,” said Millaway. “Without the skilled workforce these startups create, many cities and regions across the US have found it nearly impossible to lure larger firms. However, as these startups grow, they too can be lured away to more populated regions where capital is more abundant. Capital is vital to business survival. If the startups can’t secure it, they’ll leave. That’s why today we’re announcing TechFarms Capital Management.”

TechFarms Capital Management will focus on raising capital and investing in technology startups throughout the Southeast. The announcement of the new angel capital firm accompanied presentations by Florida Governor, Rick Scott, Chairman and President of Gulf Power, Stan Connally, Founder of Reinventors and former Managing Editor of Wired Magazine, Peter Leyden, and from ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John. This new firm will target early-stage tech startups in three Southeastern states – Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.  A second fund will focus on startups specifically located in TechFarms’ home region of Northwest Florida.

The funds are modeled after the traditional limited partnership structure, and are open to accredited US investors, institutional partners including corporations, and university endowments. Investments will target innovative and scalable private sector tech startups in areas such as hardware, software, cybersecurity, medical devices, robotics, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The company will begin accepting investments for both funds and applications for funding from startups beginning November 1, 2016.

About TechFarms Capital Management: Headquartered in Panama City, FL, TechFarms Capital Management is an early-stage angel capital firm whose funds will target innovative tech startups in the Southeastern US. More information is available at TechFarmsCapital.com.

Media Contact:

Steve Millaway, Managing Director,

TechFarms Capital Management &

Founder/CEO TechFarms, LLC

c: (850) 896-2871, e: smillaway@msn.com

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