Sunday 23 July 2017

Google faces competition probe from commission

EU Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager gives a press conference on antitrust cases in Brussels. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
EU Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager gives a press conference on antitrust cases in Brussels. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Sean Duffy

Google has been hit with fresh charges from the Euopean Commission regarding suspected breaches of antitrust legislation.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced a dual probe yesterday at a press briefing in Brussels.

"Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives," Ms Vestager said.

"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."

She added: "If the evidence shows that Google has broken the competition rules, we have a duty to act."

The first strand of the Commission's investigation focuses on whether Google abused its position by favouring its own comparison shopping service in its general search results.

The Commission also asserts that Google protected its dominant position in online search advertising.

It is claimed the company prevented competitors from entering and growing in a commercially important area.

In a statement released to the Irish Independent, a Google spokesperson said: "We believe that our innovations and product improvements have increased choice for European consumers and promote competition.

"We'll examine the Commission's renewed cases and provide a detailed response in the coming weeks."

Irish Independent

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