EU Curtailing Google’s Dominance
[WED JUN 28 2017; A14; ’EU laittaa rajoja Googlen ylivallalle,’ STT]
Brussels. When looking for a new phone to buy, one tends to look for the cheapest option. After entering a few keywords, Google presents a good selection of online stores.
In some EU countries, the first search result is Google’s own price comparison site.
On tuesday, the EU Commission fined Google 2,42 billion euros for artificially promoting Google’s own price comparison site in some countries’ search results. The comparison site isn’t visible on Finland’s Google search results.
Margarethe Vestiger, the European Commission for Competition, says Google has abused its market dominance, and broken the EU competition laws.
The EU expects Google to change the order of its search results in three months or face more fines.
– Google has prevented its competitors from promoting their merits. At the same time, it has denied European consumers the full benefits of competition, said Vestager in a press conference.
The search engine company said that it disagrees with the Commission, and is considering appealing. According to the company, its aim has been to connect consumers looking for products and the businesses offering them, in the best way possible.
In the years-long research conducted by the Commission, it was discovered that in some surveys, even the most popular rival price comparison sites could not be found until the fourth page of Google search results.
The order of the search results has a great impact, for the results visible on the first result page get 95% of clicks on personal computers, according to the Commission. On mobile devices, results on the first page are even more popular.