I never saw it only until recently. I'm in Australia. It is spreading now.... apparently.
IMO, this little "innovation" is very bad for online businesses who relay on free organic search traffic. Add to that the recently introduced killer named "instant" and you have the perfect storm for many webmasters from all around the world.
If you are not on 1st result nowadays you're doomed. I can see it across my network of content and e-shopping web sites as well as web sites i manage for my clients. It is getting extremely though to get decent online business while google continue to report exponential growth.