The European Commission today announced that they have sent a Statement of Objections to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant position in the markets for general internet search services in the Europe. Their complaint is that Google systematically favored its own comparison shopping product in its general search results pages.
EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said:
“The Commission’s objective is to apply EU antitrust rules to ensure that companies operating in Europe, wherever they may be based, do not artificially deny European consumers as wide a choice as possible or stifle innovation”.
“In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”
“I have also launched a formal antitrust investigation of Google’s conduct concerning mobile operating systems, apps and services. Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people’s daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.”
In addition to search, EC has also formally opened a separate antitrust investigation into Google’s conduct as regards the mobile operating system Android. The investigation will focus on whether Google has entered into anti-competitive agreements or abused a possible dominant position in the field of operating systems, applications and services for smart mobile devices. Read about it here.