Google Rebuffs EU Antitrust Charges, Says Commission ‘Lacks Evidence' Of Wrongdoing

Google does not plan on going down without a fight in its battle against the European Union (EU). Google has formally rebuffed the EU’s antitrust charges in a blog post entitled “Improving Quality Isn’t Anti-Competitive”.

Google has been accused of exclusively promoting its own shopping services to edge out its competition. The company could potentially be fined between $3.4 billion and $7.4 billion. This would amount to roughly one tenth of Google’s revenue.

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Google's general counsel Kent Walker has stated that these accusations are not only untrue, but illogical. He argued, “The Commission’s original SO drew such a narrow definition around online shopping services that it even excluded services like Amazon.” Walker insisted that Google’s advertisements are helpful to customers because they direct the users to the products they are actually looking for. He stated, “That isn’t ‘favouring’ — that’s listening to our customers.” Walker also insisted that Google and other companies are chasing giants like Amazon.

The EU has yet to formally respond to Google’s rebuttal. Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso recently remarked, “In each case, we will carefully consider Google's response before taking any decision on how to proceed and cannot at this stage prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.”

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Google will respond in the next few days to the accusation that it paid smartphone producers to exclusively pre-install the Google search engine on mobile devices. The EU wants to prevent the company from pressuring smartphone makers if they feel compelled to ignore other operating systems. The Commission has given Google until November 11th to respond.

Walker stated that he believes the case will be resolved by looking at the facts. He insisted “this analysis will show our product innovations have benefited consumers and merchants, and expanded competition.” European Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, however, stated earlier this spring, "Google’s behavior has harmed consumers by stifling competition and harming innovation in the wider internet space."

Via:  Google Blog
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