The European Union is ready to move forward with an anti-trust case against Google. The Internet titan stands accused, among other things, of falsifying search results to drive users to its own shopping service at the expense of other businesses.
The EU is also investigating whether or not Google’s Android mobile operating system violates its laws. Apparently the more popular Apple iOS which can only be used with that company’s iPhones and iPads and which has many more apps available for it is not considered enough competition by the EU.
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The investigation into Android will focus on whether Google has entered into anti-competitive agreements or abused a possible dominant position in the field of operating systems, applications and services for smart mobile devices.
Part of the now five year old investigation against it revolves around accusations that Google has been taking information from other web sites without permission. The company also stands accused of unfairly restricting advertisers and software developers who do business with it.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said about Google in a statement, “I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”
“Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary, ” the statement continued. “However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”
On Android she said, “Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people’s daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.”
Google responded to the allegations by posting to its blog:
“While Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways — and allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark.”
“If you look at shopping — an area where we have seen a lot of complaints and where we understand the European Commission will focus its Statement of Objections — it’s clear that (a) there’s a ton of competition (including from Amazon and eBay, two of the biggest shopping sites in the world) and (b) Google’s shopping results have not the harmed the competition, ” it said.