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One day after the European Union slapped a record fine on Google, Canada's Supreme Court added to the company's growing list of legal and regulatory setbacks.
In upholding a lower ruling in British Columbia, the court ruled 7-2 that Google must remove certain website listings from its search results — not only in Canada but everywhere it operates.
The decision came even though Google had volunteered to remove over 300 websites from its listings after one Canadian company, named Equustek Solutions, won a default judgment against another firm there, Datalink Technology Gateways, for allegedly misappropriating its products and trade secrets.
The sweeping ruling was alarming not just for Google parent Alphabet but for U.S. free-speech groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which said it was at odds with the U.S. Constitution and "has troubling implications for free expression online. "
And the potentially-onerous decision, like the $2.7 billion EU fine, was not the only bad news for the U.S. internet giant this month.
In just the past two weeks, Google has had to respond to increased pressure on everything from privacy to terrorism by:
In reply to an email seeking comment on the Canadian ruling, Google said "we are carefully reviewing the court's findings and evaluating our next steps."
Perhaps most ominously, the EU regulator who slapped it with the $2.7 billion fine for favoring its comparison-shopping service, competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, is not close to done with Google.
In a graphic, titled "Commission concern: Google's Android strategy to protect its search engine on mobile," the EU charges that:
Unlike the shopping service, which contributes less than 30 percent of Google's EU revenues, Android is a major driver of Google mobile ad sales.
Last week Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt went to the White House for a meeting with President Trump and softened him up by praising his pro-business agenda.
Yet Google operates around the world. In 2016, Alphabet got just over half its revenue, or 53 percent, from outside the U.S., according to its annual 10-K filing.
If the company wants to reverse the tide of restrictions rising against it and keep growing overseas, Schmidt and other Googlers may need to spend a lot more time not in Washington but in Brussels, Ottawa and other world capitals.