The European Commission has put forward a new antitrust charge against Google. This time, the department claims related to the company’s advertising activities.
Today, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager (Margrethe Vestager) held a press conference, during which she announced new claims against Google. The company is accused of using a dominant position in the online advertising market to limit the display of advertisements of competitors on AdSense for Search partner sites.
The Office also sent Google an additional “Statement of Objection” regarding the Google Shopping service, which is already under investigation. According to Vestager, the European Commission has new evidence that further strengthened its position.
Margret Vestager noted that over the past 10 years, Google has occupied 80% of the online advertising market. She also stressed that the company recently changed its behavior and provided more freedom to AdSense partner sites in terms of displaying advertising from competitors in the service. “We will closely monitor this ,” the European Commissioner added.
Vestager also told why the European Commission is following Google so closely:
“Google is a company that has entered the market with amazing innovative products. If you remember what the search looked like before the appearance of search engines and the start of using Google, you will immediately understand the difference. These products have changed our lives for the better. With their help, much more information has become available to each of us. However, these merits do not give the right to deny the right of other companies to compete and introduce their innovations in these markets. If the facts show that Google violates the rules of competition, we must act in such a way that European users and companies have a wide range of innovative products and the opportunity to present their products to potential customers.
The agency gave Google eight weeks to prepare a response to the allegations regarding the merchant service and ten weeks to respond to allegations related to advertising. In the event that suspicions are confirmed, a corporation can be fined up to 10% of annual income.
Westager also hinted that over time, new charges could be received against Internet companies. She said that the European Commission is currently considering complaints from publishers, as well as photobanks regarding the display of content in Google search.
The press service of Google commented on the new allegations as follows:
“We believe that our innovations and the improvement of our products have expanded our choices for European users and promote market competition. We will study the new claims of the European Commission and provide a detailed answer to them in the coming weeks. ”
Recall that in April 2015, the European Commission filed antitrust charges against Google regarding the product search Google and Google Shopping.
In April 2016, the agency filed charges against the Internet company for violating antitrust laws when entering into agreements with manufacturers of Android devices.
The fact that Google faces new antitrust charges in Europe, it became known last month. The claims were intended to affect the AdWords contextual advertising service.