The EU’s 5-year inquiry found that in Google searches, the US company gave prominence to its own comparison shopping services, regardless of their relevance to the search query, which diverted traffic away from competitors.
Google argued that internet users had more choice than ever before and could access information in multiple ways. Other industry groups said that without legal action, Google would have continued to ignore European competition rules.
Google has 10 weeks to respond to the antitrust charges, and faces a potential fine of up to 10% of its annual turnover – or $6bn (£4bn).
Arguably, Google cannot control the search engines forever, given the ever fast changing technology where there is always a new development around the corner. Perhaps the market place will sort itself out...
The European Union has accused Google of cheating competitors by distorting internet search results in favour of its own shopping service as it laid formal charges against the US technology company. The EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said Google, which dominates search engines globally, had been sent a statement of objections – effectively a charge sheet – to which it can respond. Signalling Brussels’ renewed determination to take the battle to the company, it also opened an investigation into Google’s Android system which is used in about 80% of smartphones worldwide.