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European Commission launches third antitrust charge against Google

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European Commission launches third antitrust charge against Google

This further step against the same company in three years space has raised many rumors around Europe whether, given that the Commission is already over-charged with pending investigations, there is a crusade aiming to hit Google as hard as possible, Politico reports. Indeed, it is the first time Brussels has three simultaneous sets of charges against the same company. The Commission itself has announced it will proceed on Google investigations as a matter of priority.

Thursday’s decision is the result of a high number of collected data that reinforced the Commission’s view in that Google is abusing its dominant position under Article 102 TFEU in the European market by repeatedly favoring its own shopping services in its general search results. This behavior harms competitors such as Amazon and eBay and results in impeding consumer choice and innovation in Europe, according to Commissioner Vestager. However, Google spokesman claims the company is persuaded that, conversely, its products have improved consumer choice and promoted competition in Europe, the Wall Street Journal says.

These preliminary conclusions confirm the suspicion that the European authority expressed already in April 2015 when it found Google as holding 90% of European market share in providing online search services. Google will now have 8 weeks to answer to the Commission’s concerns. According to the Guardian, Google will take Statements of Objections into careful considerations, since a European fine would hit 10% of its global turnover.

Indeed, AdSense, parent company of Google, involved in the investigations as well, represented the bulk of Google revenue last year. Undoubtedly, the impression is that the antitrust battle Google is coping with in Europe will soon come to the final round. 

 

By Ilaria Fevola

Author

WAN-IFRA External Contributor

Date

2016-07-18 17:23

Author information

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