EC exec says Google antitrust probe continues

Anticompetition official said he's investigating allegations by Google rivals 'very carefully'

Europe's top antitrust official said Wednesday that his office is continuing to investigate antitrust concerns about Google Inc.

During a speech about digital media today in London, Joaquin Almunia, a vice president of the European Commission responsible for competition policy, did not specifically name Google, but did cite a search engine that holds 95% of market share in Europe. Google is by far the most widely used search engine in Europe -- and around the globe.

Yahoo is a distant second in Europe with a market share that normally ranges from single digits into the teens.

"Dominance on the Internet is difficult to establish," Almunia said, according to a transcript of the speech. "On the internet, information travels fast and users may be very reactive. If results on a search engine, for instance, are being manipulated, it may well make a difference on the market if consumers know about it. But is transparency enough?"

Almunia added that, as has been widely reported since early this year, his office is in the midst of investigating allegations of anti-competitive conduct in the search business. Google has confirmed that it is a target of the probe.

"The work is at an early stage, but given the importance of search to a competitive online marketplace, I am looking at the allegations very carefully," he said.

A Google spokesman said the company is aware of the ongoing inquiry and has been cooperating with the commission.

"As Commissioner Almunia has indicated, the commission's inquiry is at an early, fact-finding stage," the spokesman said in a statement emailed to Computerworld. "We're working with the commissioner and his team to answer their questions, including how Google's search ranking works to produce the most relevant and useful search results for users. We're very confident that our business operates in the interests of both users and partners, as well as within European competition law."

Last February, Google revealed in a blog post that the EU had begun investigating the company for possible anticompetitive behavior following complaints filed against it by three competitors.

Julia Holtz, Google's top antitrust lawyer, claimed in the post that the EC investigation was triggered by complaints filed by Foundem, a U.K. price comparison site, eJustice.fr, a French legal search engine, and Ciao, a German search site that had been acquired by Microsoft Corp.

Analysts noted in February that Microsoft would likely benefit if the Google investigation grows into a multipronged, messy case.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Gov't Legislation/Regulationregulationeuropean commissionInternet Searchgovernmentinternetsearch enginesGov't LegislationGovernment/IndustriesYahooGoogle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Computerworld Staff

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?