Friday, April 16, 2021

Google Ordered to Mend Its Ways Fast or Face Antitrust Action

CNNMoney: Following an 18-month antitrust investigation, the European Commission has sent a letter to Google outlining four major “concerns” and asking the company to address the problems within “a matter of weeks.” Specifically, the letter says that Google could be violating EU law by  linking to its own services differently than it links to competing services, by scraping content from other services, by entering advertising agreements with partner sites that hinder competition, and and by making it too difficult for AdWords customers to switch to competing services. “If Google comes up with an outline of remedies which are capable of addressing our concerns, I will instruct my staff to initiate the discussions in order to finalize a remedies package,” said the commission’s Joaquín Almunia. “I hope that Google seizes this opportunity to swiftly resolve our concerns, for the benefit of competition and innovation in the sector.”

Google responded, “We disagree with the conclusions but we’re happy to discuss any concerns they might have. Competition on the Web has increased dramatically in the last two years since the commission started looking at this, and the competitive pressures Google faces are tremendous.”

The U.S. is also currently investigating Google’s practices to see if they violate antitrust laws.

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