European Commission Reportedly to Hit Google With More Charges
Margrethe Vestager and the European Commission, after recently objecting to Google's practices with Android, are reportedly readying shopping-related complaints.The European Commission is gearing up to levy formal anti-competitive charges against Google, the Wall Street Journal reported July 8. The expectations follow from regulators having reached out to rival technology companies, according to the report, asking for permission to disclose to Google confidential information that they shared with the European Union (EU) regarding the impacts that Google's behaviors have had on their businesses. The new charges, it added, are related to Google's "shopping service," and accusations that Google uses its position in the search market to favor its own services in the shopping market, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. A new Statement of Objections could come as soon as the end of July and build on upon shopping-related complaints made in April 2015 by the Commission and Europe's top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager—a woman frequently described as sharp, intelligent and disinclined to back down when the facts support her.
Vestager also led a separate charge against Google this spring. The Commission released a statement April 20, saying it had sent Google a Statement of Objections, regarding how Google has "implemented a strategy on mobile devices to preserve and strengthen its dominance in general Internet search."
Google's Android mobile operating system is an open source code, available for use by any company—a fact that has enabled Samsung, HTC, LG, Amazon and others to help make Android the most widely used mobile OS in the world. What the Commission is objecting to is that Android sets up Google Search as the preinstalled, default and, in some cases, exclusive search engine on most Android devices sold in Europe.