Europe still thumb-twiddling over Google search 'cooking' antitrust complaint

Europe still thumb-twiddling over Google search 'cooking' antitrust complaint

Summary: European antitrust authorities are still considering whether to bring a formal complaint against Google for search 'cooking'


European antitrust regulators are still deciding on whether a formal complaint against Google should be filed, as more come forward to accuse the search giant of discriminating against its rivals.

Joaquin Almunia, the European competition commissioner, said in a statement on the European Parliament's website dated yesterday: "The commission is to date not in a position to say whether its investigation will lead to issuing a statement of objections".

"A thorough assessment of the several categories of allegations of infringements of competition rules brought forward by several complainants is necessary", he added.

The European Commission's antitrust unit is examining whether Google placed competitor's search results lower than others, and blocked some websites from accepting rival advertisements.

Microsoft, along with others, have asked the European Commission to look into Google's practices, alleging that the search giant 'cooks' its search results to favour its own over others.

Bloomberg reports that the Association of Spanish Newspaper Publishers is the latest to complain to regulators about Google's practices. Speaking just before Christmas, it wrote to the Commission to raise concerns that it used news content without paying for it.

But though the European Commission has not formally announced whether it will lodge a complaint, reports last month suggested that Google would be in for a rough time with the authorities.

Late last year, the Financial Times reported that sources said a "400-page document" will land on Google's chief executive's desk "early next year", detailing Europe's accusations that the search giant abused its dominant position in the market.

If Google is found to be in breach of European antitrust laws, it can be fined up to 10 percent of its annual turnover, thought to be in the region of around $3 billion (€2.24 bn).

Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, who also had to sit through a number of Senate committees on a parallel matter in the U.S., was in Brussels, home of the European Parliament, late last year.

Apple, along with a number of e-book publishers, is being investigated also by the European antitrust authorities for alleged "cartel" practices.


Topics: Cloud, Apps, Enterprise Software, Google, Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Double-standards

    The EU didn't "thumb-twiddle" over complaints by Google against Microsoft.

    Perhaps Google's corporate lobbying operations continue to influence the EU. And the EU is arguably the most bloated, corrupt, and undemocratic institution in human history.
    Tim Acheson
    • When they say "continue to twiddle their thumbs"

      @Tim Acheson
      what that means is that they're giving Google a hint that the bribes they received from Google are still a "little low"
      William Farrel
    • RE: Europe still thumb-twiddling over Google search 'cooking' antitrust complaint

      @Tim Acheson
      Apparently the bribes received by Microsoft to free themselves extorting charges were enough.
  • this is charade

    instigated by evil software companies against google.
    The Linux Geek
  • RE: Europe still thumb-twiddling over Google search 'cooking' antitrust complaint

    There is nothing to consider, just file the complaint.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • RE: Europe still thumb-twiddling over Google search 'cooking' antitrust complaint

    Google has killed so many small business and profited from other business work. Google theft includes software, video,music, books images..etc..etc...
    This pirate company is the worst thief of this decade ( Excuding banks, hedge funds and bankers).