EBay Chief Supports Google in EU Antitrust Case

Google got an unexpected boost in its European Union antitrust case thanks to comments by a self-proclaimed competitor. EBay's chief executive, John Donahoe (pictured), told the press that his company is a EUstrong competitorEU with Google in the online commerce space. While that may not sound like a ringing endorsement, it actually provides critical support for the argument Google is currently making to European regulators that its practices do not stifle competition.

Earlier this month, the European Commission, which is the executive body of the European Union, accused Google of breaking the European UnionEUs antitrust rules. The regulatory body sent Google a statement of objections outlining what it considers to be anti-competitive behavior by the search giant, specifically in the area of online sales.

Helping the Competition

In particular, the European Commission pointed to the search engineEUs practice of systematically positioning and prominently displaying its comparison shopping service, Google Shopping, in its general search results pages, regardless of its merits. Doing so allows Google to take unfair advantage of its dominant position among search engines, the commission alleged.

EUWhile Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways -- and allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark,EU Amit Singhal, senior vice president, Google Search, wrote in a blog post about the commissionEUs decision.

Singhal argued that the number of competing search engines currently available, including Bing, Yahoo, and Quora, give consumers plenty of choice with regard to searching for products to buy. In addition, companies like eBay, Amazon and Expedia act as specialized search providers for goods and services. Singhal also pointed to the fact that users are increasingly turning to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for shopping recommendations.

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