Google’s Rivals Claim EU Ruling Not Good Enough

Google’s shopping rivals want an EU commission to do more to protect them from the search engine’s anti-competitive behavior.

Last year, Google was fined a record 2.4 billion euros ($2.9 billion) by the European Union’s financial enforcers, who determined that the search engine manipulated its results to benefit its own shopping services — and disadvantage the services of others.

The ruling is being appealed by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The company also offered to display competing comparison shopping websites through an auction, giving them the chance to compete on equal terms.

But its rivals aren’t happy with that plan, according to Reuters.

“Google’s remedy proposal is, on its face, non-compliant with the prohibition decision,” a group of 19 rivals said in a letter to European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

British price comparison site Foundem, whose complaint started the investigation, France’s Twenga and other rivals were among the signatories to the letter.

“Google’s current remedy proposal is no better than Google’s Commitment proposals under Commissioner Almunia, and in some ways may be worse,” the group said, referring to Vestager’s predecessor, who attempted to get Google to settle without a fine.

The EU competition authority said it was looking for feedback from all parties.

“The letter raises several arguments that the Commission has already been looking at as part of its ongoing assessment of Google’s measures,” an authority spokesman said.

In the meantime, Google said it is doing all it can to give its rivals a fair chance.

“As required, comparison shopping services have the same opportunity as Google Shopping to show shopping ads from merchants on Google’s search results pages,” said Google spokesman Al Verney.

And if it’s discovered that Google isn’t complying with the EU order, the company could be fined up to 5 percent of its average daily worldwide turnover.


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