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Europe ramps up Google investigation

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The European Commission has sent some more Statements of Objections to US internet giant Google, effectively saying it’s still not happy.

“Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “But that doesn’t give Google the right to deny other companies the chance to compete and innovate.

“Today, we have further strengthened our case that Google has unduly favoured its own comparison shopping service in its general search result pages. It means consumers may not see the most relevant results to their search queries. We have also raised concerns that Google has hindered competition by limiting the ability of its competitors to place search adverts on third party websites, which stifles consumer choice and innovation.

“Google now has the opportunity to respond to our concerns. I will consider their arguments carefully before deciding how to take both cases forward. But if our investigations conclude that Google has broken EU antitrust rules, the Commission has a duty to act to protect European consumers and fair competition on European markets.”

The EU has followed up with some additional evidence that it says reinforces its previous claims around favouring its own comparison shopping service in general search results. It has also indicated that it’s not convinced by the defence Google put up last year and added an investigation into the AdSense around the alleged restriction of ads for Google competitors on certain 3rd party sites. Google has ten weeks to respond.


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