New Year, Same Complaints From Google’s European Rivals
It’s a new year, but it doesn’t look like Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) European antitrust charges are going anywhere. For three years now, the Mountain View, California-based company has faced complaints about the way it treats rivals in its search results, and now the pressure on the European Union to do something is more significant than ever. The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace released a report Monday that outlines the way Google undermines its competitors, and the group calls on Brussels regulators to do something, and do it fast.
According to the Wall Street Journal, ICOMP has attracted many of the companies that currently complain to the EU about Google, and that includes rival specialized search sites, online mapping companies, and travel-review websites. Some of the big-names that currently pays dues to ICOMP are Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the Barclays Premier League, the top rank in British soccer. These parties’ criticism revolves around the complaint that Google practices anti-competitive behavior while purposefully blocking rivals in its search results, and although the tech giant has recently offered concessions to avoid investigations from the European Union antitrust regulator, ICOMP says those don’t cut it.
ICOMP released a report Monday, written by spokesperson Juan Briones, that highlights how Google’s recent efforts to maintain a fair market place “are not designed to address nor even related to the competition problem raised by the abuse of Google’s dominant position in Europe.” He says, “Google’s commitments make commercial sense and fit in Google’s commercial strategy to transition organic traffic into paid traffic. Google would have implemented the ‘alleged’ remedy in any case and independently of the Commission’s investigation.”