As expected, the European Commission has sent a formal “Statement of Objections” to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant position in the EU’s general search market by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product in search results. The Commission believes this infringes EU antitrust rules because it “stifles competition and harms consumers.”
Separately, the Commission has also opened an antitrust investigation into Google’s Android offerings: “[It] 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.”
Speaking today at the press conference in Brussels, the EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: “dominance as such is not a problem. However, dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition, either in the market where they are dominant or in neighboring markets.” The specific allegation is that Google systematically gives favorable treatment to its comparison shopping product Google Shopping in its general search results pages.
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