Pressure is mounting on the leading search engine as the E.U. investigation has launched a separate inquiry over Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s unfair business malpractices.
It is a sign that European counterparts are as serious as their U.S. regulators about pursuing serious charges against the company.
The E.U. Office accountable for competition policy communicated to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt that it has knowledge about the former’s biased act of giving preference to its services overriding competitors’ offerings. Google has been given ten days’ time to respond to E.U.’s notice.
Citing the instances of Google’s services like travel reviews and Web maps, Vice President of the European Commission expressed apprehensions that Google’s act amounts to giving preferential treatment and is against the spirit of market competition.
A similar inquiry, in this regard, is already underway by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission withdrew its investigation at the beginning of 2013 after Google agreed to make non-binding commitments.
The E.U. anti-trust officials claim that Google looked to be reluctant in facing up to advertising competition. Further, it resorted to using its ad service on other software platforms.
Further, the E.U. decried that Google makes use of a duplicated content, for instance, user reviews, that is drawn from competing search engines without securing permission. Such a step not only lessens competitors’ incentive to invest in genuine content.
A spokeswoman of Google was quick to downplay the E.U.’s theory and offered to take part in an open debate on the issue.
There were instances where Google offered the best possible search results for the users. But, those results turned out to be the company’s products.
Over a period, Google has made a quick progression evolving from its main search engine to the level of offering more specific services. Rival companies who have lodged complaints have alleged that the company is leveraging its search engine reputation to increase the web traffic.
When the users search for an address on the web, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is promoting its products like Google Maps, averred anti-trust experts.
As a result, tiny competitors are losing out in the competition, said the E.U. anti-trust officials.
Anti-trust experts predict that the fiasco may result in Google coughing up huge fees. Considering the gravity of the shopping complaint, Google may be directed to restructure its business in Europe.