EC Slaps Google with Antitrust Complaint over Its AdSense Biz

The European Commission (EC), the European Union?EU?s (EU) top antitrust regulator, today accused Google of abusing its dominant market position in online comparison shopping and advertising-related activities to favor its services at the expense of its rivals. The announcement represents a formal step by the EC in its investigation into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules.

"Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives,?EU? Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition policy, said in a statement today. ?EU?But that doesn't give Google the right to deny other companies the chance to compete and innovate.?EU?

Expanding Last Year?EU?s Case

Today?EU?s move by the EC serves to further strengthen a case it first began making against Google last April. The EC, which accused Google of not displaying the most relevant search results to consumers looking to comparison shop, formalized that accusation with a Statement of Objection it sent to the company today.

Today?EU?s document outlines a broad range of evidence and data that reinforces the preliminary conclusions the EC reached last year regarding Google abusing its market position, according to the commission.

?EU?The additional evidence relates, amongst other things, to the way Google favors its own comparison shopping service over those of competitors, the impact of a Web site's prominence of display in Google's search results on its traffic, and the evolution of traffic to Google's comparison shopping service compared to its competitors,?EU? the EC said in a statement.

The commission said it had also examined Google argument that comparison shopping services should not be considered in isolation, but together with the services provided by merchant platforms such as Amazon and eBay. However, the EC said that even if merchant platforms were included in the market, Google?EU?s conduct would still weaken or marginalize the competition from its...

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