The EU have been squaring up to internet search giant google for a number of months now, accusing them of monopolizing the search market and then prioritizing advertisements for their own products on their site. This spawned a recent antitrust lawsuit which is currently in debate in court.
The EU are strict and very observant when it comes to a company attempting to achieve a monopoly on business in the Euro Zone – it’s one of the jobs of the EU area and the people who regulate it to make sure business is fair and competitive, partially due to the multitude of countries, with their own sovereignty, that exist within the zone.
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When you compare the EU to America, it’s easier to understand – America is a single country where it doesn’t really matter if there’s one big company dominating a business sector, whilst in the EU there exists a collection of independent nations who all deserve a chance to bolster their own economy by promoting businesses in each area.
Europe therefore wants to remind Google that the EU isn’t America – you can’t just turn up here and take over business, especially if you’re not from around here. It might seem a bit harsh on America, but following the financial crisis around 2010, which was partially due to exterior influence on the European economy, the EU are much more cautious to prevent the economy from being messed up.
At any rate, the EU Commission isn’t messing around, the antitrust accusation laid out before Google concerns shopping results – apparently the company makes sure their products and services appear at the top of shopping results – and as the dominant search engine this means they’ll have an unfair advantage over other businesses.
EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager spoke out on the recent decision to formally accuse Google of the practice.
“In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.” She said.
Making sure companies don’t establish monopolies is important – not only does it prevent unfair business practices but it also opens up competition and alternative services in case something goes wrong with the largest one. No doubt American columnists will have something to say about this along some more ‘libertarian’ lines, so check back later for more coverage.
Via: The Next Web