Google faces nine antitrust complaints in the EU

Google is up against nine antitrust cases in the European Union - five more than we knew about previously.
Written by Matt Weinberger, Contributor

Reuters is reporting that the European Commission is investigating no less than nine antitrust complaints against Google in the EU, which is five more than we knew about previously.

"The Commission has nine formal complaints now. The new complaints come from small companies," says Reuters' anonymous source. A second source confirms that three of the five newly uncovered cases are on behalf of regulatory agencies, while the other two are "fresh."

It's certainly not good news for Google, which faces an FTC probe here in the US in addition to these complaints in the EU. But it's not necessarily any worse for Google either - several of these cases will likely cover the same issues, so one European Commission investigation can potentially shed light on all nine.

The overall goal is to clear up certain issues with Google's business practices, as smaller rivals accuse the search giant of suppressing their pages in results and stifling competition.

But an unfavorable ruling in Europe could result in a fine of up to 10% of Google's global turnover, as Intel and Microsoft well know thanks to their own run-ins with the European Commission.

As the antitrust pressure on Google mounts, all eyes are on chairman Eric Schmidt ahead of his Sept. 21st appearance in front of a US Senate subcommittee hearing. His testimony is undoubtedly going to set the tone for Google's legal battles ahead.

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