EU Still Unhappy with Google Dominance, Threatens Lawsuit

The European Union is not backing down in its antitrust case against Google. The EU's watchdog says Google is abusing its dominance in the search-engine industry. The two parties involved have been talking about possible resolutions, but the EU now says Google will have to provide an adequate proposal in coming weeks or the EU will move forward with a traditional antitrust case and punishment.

EU watchdog chief Joaquin Almunia said Wednesday that unless Google can make changes to its search engine business strategy soon, it could face billions of dollars in fines and an antitrust lawsuit, which could take years to resolve.

Outside Opinions

One of the more controversial aspects of the case has been the involvement of Google's competitors in the EU's decision-making process. EU regulators have even referenced opinions of Google's competitors when talking about their decision to not accept the search giant's proposals thus far.

"I am waiting for the reaction from Google," Almunia said at a news conference. "Unfortunately after the second round of proposals, I am not satisfied. We need more. And we need more not in the next year, but in the next few weeks."

Google has been dealing with the antitrust allegations since 2010, when EU regulators first voiced concerns regarding the search engine's control of the industry. During the past four years, Google has continued to increase the scope of its proposed fixes but every time, its competitors have told regulators that the proposed resolutions would not be enough to solve the problem.

"I believe Google's market dominance is the primary reason the company is being subjected to this level of scrutiny," said Charles King, principal analyst for Pund-IT. "For many regulators, market share and competitive success determine the size of the target affixed to the company under the microscope."


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