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Google set for a long battle in EU antitrust case

The European Union is likely to narrow down on Google for abusing its search-engine dominance, for shopping service. Google’s Android software will also be investigated by regulators though major charges and fines are unlikely to be faced by the company.google-right-to-be-forgotten

European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager followed the case Wednesday that will decide if the search engine giant will succeed in defending the charges. The process could take years, and  regulators are expected to focus on Google’s wide range of businesses. Apart from Google’s anti-competitive practices against shopping sites, other areas like “web scraping” to copy content from travel and review sites. The tech giant is also charged with restrictive advertisement.

“They’re not looking for a way to break up Google or to regulate its search algorithm,” said Robert M.Cooper, an anti-trust lawyer with Boies, Schiller &Flexner in Washington.

Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Scachter is concerned regarding the broad scope of the investigation. Cooper stated that the European Union is seeking to make changes to the existing search engine results. A former economist at European Commission’s competition arm Mario Mariniello stated that Google will address the objection point-by-point as EU objections are laid down in a systematic way.

Though Google admits that it is the most used search engine in the EU, it also claimed that people were accessing other websites like shopping websites, social media and others, directly through phone apps and by directly visiting them. In response to the European Commission, Google stated that Allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be the wide of the mark. We respectfully but strongly disagree, they added.

However, the preliminary statement of objections from the EU does not mention that it would force Google to change its business strategy that could affect investors and hinder innovation. Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian mentioned in a note to investors that they saw little long-term risk to the business model from regulators.

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About Anirudh Madhav

A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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