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EU Says Google Sends More Shopping Search Traffic to Rivals

 |  March 16, 2020

Google is sending more shopping traffic to smaller rivals under a European Union order for it to show competing services more prominently, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said.

According to Bloomberg, shopping search services have “substantially increased” their use of Google’s offer to show their results in its shopping ads, Vestager said in a response to a lawmaker’s question. The services pay to appear in the product listing ads shown above search results, once provided only by Google.

“In June 2018, only one third of shopping units included at least one competitor, and around 6% of clicks in the unit went to competitors,” the EU said. “In January 2020, 79.7% of shopping units include at least one offer of a competitor, and 44.6% of clicks go to those.”

Google faces a threat of more EU fines if it doesn’t comply with the EU antitrust order to give equal treatment to rivals in shopping search ad results. Google chose how to obey the order and the EU has never explicitly stated whether the company is complying correctly. Several search services have criticized Google for using a paid auction to let them appear in the slots.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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