EU is working to determine if Google abuses its market dominance. The regulators work starts almost one year after the European Commission had launched an antitrust investigation of Google as a result of numerous complaints from other search engine providers. Now, EU investigates whether Google is taking advantage of its popularity to manipulate the rankings of the competition, Reuters announced.
On Friday, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia held a press conference in Florence about the evaluation process that is taking place in the case of Google Inc. He said that the regulators are “trying to determine whether the company holds a dominant position in Internet search” in the first place, and then, if it is abusing its dominant position in order to submit the other competitor, thus protecting its leading spot on the market.
Alumnia says that there is a difference between being dominant and being abusive. “Abuse is a conduct that protects or extends dominance by illegitimate means, and we still have to conclude whether this is the case for Google.”
The abuse issue arose when several of its competitors filed complaints stating that Google was manipulating the rankings of the services offered by the competition in such a way that they appear to be ranked lower than they are in reality. Among the companies filing the complaints, there is also Microsoft. Its statement at the time was that “Google Inc. has taken to entrench its dominance in the markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of European consumers”.
Google’s attitude regarding the matter was a positive and embracing one since the beginning of the scandal. Back in November 2010, a rep of the company told CNET that they will provide the EU with all the data and the support needed to clear things out.