Google may be courting fresh trouble after the European Commission’s massive penalty in June as its rivals are preparing to lodge new complaints with the Commission alleging “inadequate” response to the record anti-trust fine, a media report said.
In recent weeks, several of Google’s rivals have held meetings with Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition commissioner, to express their dismay at the changes made to Google’s results in response to last summer’s fine, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.
“They are preparing to lodge formal complaints in the coming weeks,” the report said. The move could lead the European Commission to slap further multi-billion euro fines on the Internet giant and make it implement further changes in its search results.
After a seven-year investigation, the European Commission fined Google $2.7 billion in June for breaching EU anti-trust rules. The Commission found that Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.
It charged Google with demoting rival comparison shopping services in its search results. The Commission also ordered Google to comply with the simple principle of giving equal treatment to rival comparison shopping services and its own service.
However, the changes that Google made to its search results after the European Commission’s decision have failed to please its rivals. They say Google’s remedy has been inadequate because it continues to place its shopping service at an advantage in search results, The Telegraph report said.
While handing out the fine in June, the European Commission said that it would monitor Google’s compliance closely and that the company was under an obligation to keep the Commission informed of its actions from time to time.