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“We are writing to express our common views on the European Commission’s ongoing settlement negotiations with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG),” begins a letter to Joaquin Alumnia, the European Union’s top anti-trust official. “The Commission opened proceedings more than two years ago, and we are becoming increasingly concerned that effective and future-proof remedies might not emerge through settlement discussions alone.”
The letter, released on Thursday, is a joint statement from 11 different web companies, led by British shopping-comparison website Foundem. The broad case against Google in Europe is based off the fact that more than 80 percent of searches conducted in the region use its engine. The consortium of businesses, many of which were also involved in the initial complaint filed nearly three years ago, allege that Google abuses its position as the dominant search provider.
Notable signatures on the letter include Brent Thompson, who is senior vice president of corporate affairs at Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), and Seth Kalvert, who is a senior vice president and general council for TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP).
The letter states that “In addition to materially degrading the user experience and limiting consumer choice, Google’s search manipulation practices lay waste to entire classes of competitors in every sector where Google chooses to deploy them.” This could be taken to mean that Google’s footprint in e-commerce, combined with its overwhelming command of the search market and the alleged abuse of that command, could effectively squelch smaller competitors like Foundem…
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