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Competitors to lodge formal complaint re Google response to EU antitrust fine

18 December 2017

In June 2017 the European Commission fined Google 2.4B euro for antitrust violations related to Google Shopping, which the EC concluded unfairly benefited from a monopoly position in search at the expense of smaller competitors.

To see the EC press release on the "non-confidential" details of that antitrust case and fine is, click the Related Article link, below.

Since then Google has made some changes to Google Shopping which it says "complies with the European Commission's order."

But competitors complain that Google's response has been inadequate because although Google Shopping must now compete with smaller companies for slots on Google, Google can easily outbid them. It's claimed that Google is thus still taking most of its own shopping search slots.

The EC is scheduled to release sometime this winter a report on its findings regarding the adequacy of Google's response to the June finding and fine.

If the EC finds that Google hasn't addressed the situation adequately, the company could be assessed another fine up to 5% of its yearly revenues - about US$4.5B - per day for any period of noncompliance.

If competitors are correct - and Google's own listings still occupy most of the available listing space on its site - I believe it's unlikely that the EC will consider their changes to be sufficient to level the playing field. But I'm sure Google has the best attorneys money can buy.

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David Boggs    - David
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