Monday 24 June 2019

EU's Vestager claims Google search clampdown working

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Photo: Bloomberg
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Photo: Bloomberg

Foo Yun Chee

Google is complying with an EU order to boost competition in online shopping, Europe's antitrust chief said yesterday, brushing aside complaints from rivals demanding more action.

Hit with a €2.4bn fine two years ago for unfairly promoting its own comparison shopping service, Google has since offered to allow competitors to bid for advertising space at the top of a search page. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said this appeared to be working. "Now we are in a situation where in 75pc of queries there would be at least one rival to Google in the shopping box and 40pc of clicks would go to a merchant hosted by one of the rivals," Ms Vestager said.

"This means we do not have a non-compliance case but at the same time also means that we keep monitoring monthly developments," she added.

Open Internet Project, a Google critic, however argues that the situation has not improved. "By putting these Google-powered Shopping Units at the top of every relevant results page, above more relevant comparison services, Google continues to reserve the important market for comparison shopping services to itself," it said.


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