ICOMP welcomes Google’s admission of guilt that their market dominance and business practices have harmed numerous companies across the Internet, distorting competition, harming innovation and restricting the choice of consumers.
Commenting on the announcement David Wood, Counsel, ICOMP, said:
“Despite coming two years late, today’s acceptance of the Commission’s “framework” and possible offer of remedies is a hugely significant acknowledgement by Google of their market dominance and recognition of illegal anti-competitive behaviour. It is vital to ensure that the remedies offered by Google end the discrimination and manipulation of search results that have had the effect of making the open Internet a closed Google Internet. Given Google’s 94% dominance over the European search market, it is imperative that the proposed remedies are incapable of circumvention and will help ensure the future development of the Internet to the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses, consumers and economies across Europe.
In light of Google’s history of impeding and ignoring official investigations, ICOMP trusts that this is a genuine offer.
Over many years, Google’s dominance in the search market has harmed hundreds of companies who have voiced their concerns that Google’s conduct violated European competition law, distorted competition, curbed innovation, restricted consumer choice and ultimately held back economic growth.
It is essential that the proposed remedies receive vigorous scrutiny not only by the Commission but also by third parties, to ensure they provide full redress for the damage caused by Google’s behaviour and prevent its repetition. Any failure to do so will likely have grave consequences for online competition, innovation and consumer choice.”
Google’s conduct is under investigation by regulators across the globe with investigations known to be underway in at least the United States, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and India. In all of these cases, consumers and competitors desperately need Google’s abusive practices to end and be prevented from recurring.
Today’s acknowledgment of guilt is an important step towards addressing these harms and ensuring a diverse and open Internet.