EU Hits Google With More Charges

European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, announcing formal antitrust charges against Google in Brussels in April 2015. (Credit: European Commission)
European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, announcing formal antitrust charges against Google in Brussels in April 2015. (Credit: European Commission)

The European Commission On Thursday added new antitrust charges against Google in the areas of search and advertising as it continues to investigate the Internet search giant.

The EC, in a “statement of objections,” charged that Google places restrictions on the ability of certain third-party websites to display search advertisements from the search giant’s competitors. Google places search ads directly on its search website but the company is also an intermediary on third-party websites through its “AdSense for Search” platform, according to the Commission.

As a result, the company has prevented existing and potential competitors, including other search providers and online advertising platforms, from entering and growing in this lucrative area, according to the Commission.

By EC rules, a statement of objections is a formal step in its antitrust investigations in which the commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them.

The Commission also added a supplementary statement of objections to earlier charges that it leveled against the company in April 2015 that Google used its dominant position to favor its own comparison shopping product in search results.

“Today, we have further strengthened our case that Google has unduly favored its own comparison shopping service in its general search result pages,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. “It means consumers may not see the most relevant results to their search queries.”

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SOURCE: John Ribeiro
IDG News Service