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Google dismisses EU’s antitrust claims on Google Shopping

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Google dismisses EU’s antitrust claims on Google Shopping

The American company seems determined to reject the claims the EU institution expressed in its Statement of Objections in April 2015, which was followed by the opening of a formal investigation in July 2016 into suspected abuse of dominant position. 

In Google’s view, the Commission has applied a too narrow definition about what an online shopping service is, excluding other online shopping providers such as Amazon, therefore not considered as a Google’s competitor.

Google also says that the EU watchdog has ignored the option of Google’s users to switch to another shopping service with just one click. When Google Shopping results are shown in search results, Google shows just a price comparison, and choosing an item immediately leads the user to the website where that product is sold. There is no evidence that this mechanism harms competition, Google argues. 

Finally, Google contends that the Commission is unaware of the real mechanisms governing online shopping services, and consequently the company is not favouring its own products in the display of shopping search results. 

A Google spokesman noted that even before the Commission sent its Statement of Objections to Google, the company had already changed those suspected anticompetitive practices in the eye of the EU institution, the Guardian reports. 

It is difficult to persuade the Commission with these arguments, according to Michael Carrier, Professor at New Jersey Law School. Indeed, Google bases its arguments on the wide range of choices it ensures to consumers while the Commission is primarily concerned on the effects on competitors. 

As the WAN-IFRA blog has previously reported, Google is under European scrutiny for three different products: Google Search, Google Shopping and Google Android. 

On 11 November Google will answer also to the antitrust charge concerning Android, The New York Times says. 

Author

Ilaria Fevola

Date

2016-11-04 13:52

Author information

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