Updated 06:18 AM EST, Mon, Nov 29, 2021

Abusive Search Dominance? Google Prepares for EU Antitrust Charges

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Tension may be steaming between Europe and Google.

The European Union has formally accused Google of abusing its online search dominance in Europe, seen as a violation of antitrust rules, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Previous details about the accusation sprang from a "person familiar with the situation," USA Today noted. Allegedly, the Mountain View giant hoards traffic from its competitors in favor of its own services.

As told by USA Today, the EU has been investigating Google for a period of five years. Today's antitrust case is believed to result in Google paying gargantuan fines, and / or making adjustments in its operations within the continent.

In response to the impending accusation, Google recently provided an internal memo, addressing the situation in figures and arguments. Below are few excerpts from the copy obtained by Re/code:

"As the Financial Times has just reported, the European Commission will tomorrow issue a Statement of Objections (SO) regarding the display and ranking of certain search results, in particular shopping. This is obviously very disappointing news, especially for the search team that has worked so hard to create a great experience for our users over the last 16 years."

"An SO is not a final finding. It's a document in which the Commission staff sets out its preliminary arguments so that the company in question can respond... it's also an opportunity for Google to tell our side of the story."

Google is convinced of having a "very strong case," citing points in better services and increased competition. The company argues that its products are facing strong traditional competition, TechCrunch said, as well as new breeds of rivals.

Google cites conventional search services such as Bing, Yahoo, Quora and DuckDuckGo, while it sees Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana as part of the "new wave" of search assistants. "More specialized services" such as Amazon, Idealo, Le Guide, Expedia and eBay have also been cited.

The company provided a series of graphs compiled using comScore data, which basically indicated statistics of unique visitors in shopping and travel sites of some European countries. You can check them out here, here, here and here.

There are over two dozen companies which have already filed antitrust complaints in Europe against Google, The New York Times wrote, many of which are based in Germany. The outlet added that Google's fine is anticipated at $6.4 billion.

Is Google monopolizing search use? What do you think about its services? Share your experiences in the comments section.

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