Google Attacks EU Case Against Them
Google poured scorn on European Union allegations it skewed shopping search results to favor its own services and said regulators have failed to see that the search-engine giant is competing head on with e-commerce giants Amazon and EBay, according to Bloomberg. Google said that the EU’s allegations lack evidence and would ultimately harm users in favor “of a small number of websites,” in a blog posting detailing its response to European Commission antitrust objections over its comparison-shopping and AdSense services.
“The commission’s revised case still rests on a theory that just doesn’t fit the reality of how most people shop online,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel said in the blog post. The EU’s “claims are wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics.” Google faced four EU antitrust complaints since the Brussels-based regulator opened its first probe into the Mountain View, California-based company in November 2010. In a previous response, Google ridiculed as “peculiar and problematic” a first statement of objections over the way it displays search results.
The commission refined its shopping case in July, saying it has “a broad range of additional evidence and data" that the Alphabet Inc. unit systematically favors its own comparison-shopping service in its search results and that smaller rivals lose traffic when they appear lower down in results. “There is simply no meaningful correlation between the evolution of our search services and the performance of price comparison sites,” Walker said in the blog. The Commission said it received Google’s responses and will “carefully consider” them “before taking any decision on how to proceed.”
Google has until Nov. 11 to respond to a third charge sheet the EU sent it in April over its Android smartphone software. The company will respond to the Android antitrust complaint “in the days to come,” said Walker. While all these cases are separate, each time they “cite just a few complaints to justify broad legal claims.”