After fining Google the sum of $2.7 billion a couple of days ago, the European Commission is again urging rivals that may feel hurt by the company’s breaking of its anti-trust law. The Commission through its Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, urged Google’s rivals to sue the search engine giant for abusing its anti-trust law.
Vestager said any business that feels hurt should use the ruling to prop up its case, the Daily Mail reports. She was quoted in the Sunday Times, per the Daily Mail that: “It is for everyone who feels they have been hurt by the illegal Google behavior to take this report and use in court as part of their evidence will have an influence.”
Vestager’s statement could trigger strings of legal actions against Google, and could affect the company’s finances.
The European Commission in charge of competition fined Google a whopping sum of €2.42 billion or $2.7 billion for abusing its “dominance as search engine.” Google has been in the eyes of the storm for a while now, and this hefty fine by the European regulatory commission won’t come to many as a surprise. The commission said its decision is hinged on Google’s “abuse of dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service.”
The EU antitrust body opened its investigation against the search engine giant about seven years ago following series of complaints from several companies about how they have been shut-out by Google. Since then, various efforts have been made to reach an agreement with parties involved, but with no concrete agreement reached.
In July 2016, the regulators slammed more charges on Google—extending its investigation beyond search to AdSense and AdWords. The new charges brought against Google was the clearest indication yet that the end was not in sight as it concerns the EU’s investigation.
“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors,” the Commissioner said in a statement last week while pronouncing the fine.
Vestager and her team had apparently stumbled on more facts to widen its investigation beyond Google’s dominance of the search engine market. The European Commission announced that further Statements of Objections were sent to Google. Brussels accused the search engine giant of abusing its dominant position in search areas that include comparison shopping services. It also said Google “has weakened or even marginalized competition from its closest rivals”. It accused the search engine company of restricting ads that would directly compete against AdSense for Search product.
Google started prohibiting AdSense for Search users from accepting rival search ads. The EU deems this as unacceptable and against fair competition—hence today’s charges.