ICOMP welcomes today’s news that the European Commission has demanded that Google propose remedies within the next few weeks following a lengthy investigation into well documented allegations that the Internet giant is violating competition law.
Google faced a series of serious and complex complaints by entities across the economy, such as the Association of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ), Ciao, eJustice.fr, the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV), Foundem, Microsoft and Twenga.
Commenting on the announcement David Wood, Counsel, ICOMP, said:
“In principle, news that Google has been instructed to propose remedies is welcome. This implies that the Commission has found that Google’s behaviour constituted an abuse of its dominant position in the online search market.
For a number of years we have voiced our concerns that Google’s conduct violates European competition law. Google’s behaviour has caused significant harm to numerous businesses across the online ecosystem stifling innovation, competition and to the ultimate detriment of consumers and the European economy.
It is vital that the terms of any agreed settlement include measures to quickly redress the harm caused to European businesses and consumers and are sufficiently robust to ensure that such harm is not repeated. We trust that this will prove to be the case and a competitive online market place will be restored.”
Should a settlement fail to impose stringent measures, Google is likely to continue abusing its 94% dominance of the European search market; heralding grave consequences for online competition, innovation and consumer choice.
Furthermore, Google has a track record of frustrating official investigations and many third parties have had unhappy experiences when entering into negotiations. Complainants and other stakeholders will continue to urge that their concerns are taken into account.
Regulators across the globe scrutinizing Google’s behaviour must observe these negotiations and any final settlement closely with a view to ensuring adequate measures are implemented to further protect healthy online competition.
The ICOMP Secretariat