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Europe Charges Google with Unfair Practices

Published by: Frank Galvano on 16th Apr 2015 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano

Europe Charges Google with Unfair Practices

 

The world's undisputed Internet search leader is at odds with authorities once again after a European regulator charged the tech giant with unfair practices that cheat consumers and competitors.  According to a spokesman for the European Competition Commission, the Mountain View, California-based firm was sent a detailed list of charges this week, and has just ten weeks to prepare a response.  The latest round of charges against the company involves its Google Shopping service, which authorities say Google has given favoritism in search results over competitors like Amazon and eBay.  European officials are also investigating Google concerning other products and services, and many expect the shopping case to set key precedents that will affect other ongoing probes.

 

This weeks charges against Google come on the heels of an investigation that has lasted more than five years and a string of unsuccessful attempts to strike a deal with Google.  "I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules," noted EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who took over the case last November.  Should the charges hold, Vestager added, the Internet giant could face fines and other punitive actions that could put a dent in its monopoly over multiple tech-related industries.  Google issued a statement that effectively denied the new charges, though a spokesman declined to entertain questions about the new allegations.  US authorities, meanwhile, continue to hear charges from Google's competitors, though no charges have yet been files. 

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