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Google-owner Alphabet hit with additional EU competition charges

By The Drum | Editorial

July 14, 2016 | 3 min read

The EU Commission has issued two charges against Alphabet stating that “that Google has abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages”, adding to the online advertising giant’s legal woes in Europe.

The EU has sent two issues of objection to Google, citing the governing body’s antitrust policies stating its preliminary view that the company has abused its dominant position by artificially restricting the possibility of third party websites to display search advertisements from Google's competitors.

Google faces more UK legal woe

In its charge, the commission is alleging that Google’s terms of contract mean it is unfairly imposing restrictions on the way third-party websites display search ads, compared to its rivals. More details of the legal charges are available here.

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Additionally, the EU has issued a separate statement of objection as regards its shopping comparison results, citing “a broad range of additional evidence and data that reinforces the commission's preliminary conclusion that Google has abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its own comparison shopping service in its general search results”.

In a statement, Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, said: “Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives. But that doesn't give Google the right to deny other companies the chance to compete and innovate.”

The charge adds to Google’s legal strife in Europe, with the search giant facing a fine of up to €3bn, after the Commission pressed formal charges against the search giant earlier in the year.

Google-owner Alphabet now has 10 weeks to respond to the most recent Statement of Objections.

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