Google handed list of antitrust concerns

03 Jul 2012

After more than 18 months of investigation, the EC has presented Google with its concerns over the search engine’s business practices.

European commissioner for competition Joaquin Almunia has written to Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt outlining the EC’s concerns and requesting that Google provide appropriate remedies.

The letter follows an antitrust investigation into the company that began in late 2010, having been prompted by complaints from Google’s rivals in the online search market. It is alleged that Google abused its dominant position through unfavorable treatment of competing services.

A final decision in this case has not yet been reached, although the EC has identified four main concerns with Google’s conduct.

The EC’s concerns relate to how Google displays its vertical search services, “copies” content from competitors, negotiates exclusivity arrangements with partners, and imposes contractual restrictions on software developers. The EC is hoping that Google complies with its requests, and believes that these points need to be addressed quickly.

However, Google is (for the moment) holding its ground against the allegations. It has been given until “early July” to present appropriate remedies, otherwise it will face formal action.

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