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.

(RE) START BUSINESS EXPO

(Panama City, FL), November 1, 2016 – TechFarms, LLC, a technology and business incubator in Panama City Beach, in partnership with Panhandle Strategic Alliance, a local business-to-business networking group, is hosting the first annual (Re) Start Expo – Tuesday, November 1, 2016, from 4pm- 7pm. This FREE Expo will take place at 7506 Holley Circle, PCB, FL. 32408. If you are looking to start your own business or your existing business needs to be (Re) juvenated, the (Re) Start Expo is for you!

Laura Nelson, Operations Manager at TechFarms & owner of A-List Accounting, a participating vendor, commented, “The idea is to help those future entrepreneurs and existing businesses who may need (Re) juvenation with marketing, accounting, legal, IT, to name a few.”

Net proceeds from vendor participation benefit Girls, Inc. of Bay County, FL. a non-profit organization who provides mentors and educational programs to empower young girls to reach their personal and professional goals.

About TechFarms.
TechFarms’ mission is to help create more private sector technology companies for Northwest Florida. In the process, we’ll be creating more jobs, growing our workforce, and making our communities more attractive to larger tech companies that will bring even more jobs. Our goals are to expand the tech culture and entrepreneurial ecosystems in Bay County and Northwest Florida, to connect entrepreneurs to resources, mentors, and each other, so they can launch new products & services, and provide resources for entrepreneurs and startup companies, including capital investments, market analysis, mentors, networking events, tools for product development and shared work space.