EU gearing up to formally accuse Google of antitrust violations

European regulators are ready to make a move and pounce on Google, formally accusing the search engine giant of violating European antitrust policies. E.U. regulators have been mulling over this case for a while now, and this new move will the the latest in a public threat to Googles business practices. At the heart of the antitrust case is Google's alleged use of its search engine to direct web users to its own products. Additionally, the E.U. investigation is looking into allegations that Google made it difficult for advertisers to move their ads to other platforms because Google was aggregating content from competitors in its search results.

The ongoing investigation began five years ago and still has a long way to go before it ends. An official indictment against Google, if one is ever made, could be a year away. After this latest move by European Commisioner Margrethe Vestager, Google has ten weeks to formulate an official response.

As popular as Google is in America, it has achieved even more influence and market domination in Europe. Google reportedly has a 90% penetration in some of the European markets, which has made competitors and regulators anxious.

The E.U. could throw fines totalling up to $6 billion USD at Google for violating European antitrust laws. What is more likely to happen in this cat and mouse game of politics, is a settlement between the search engine giant and European regulators. These accusations could amount to posturing as each side tries to get ahead for future settlement negotiations.

The E.U.'s aggressive approach stands in stark contrast to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's approach to the matter, which is considered by some to be strongly worded slap on the wrist.

Update: An internal memo from Google detailing its response to the E.U.'s allegations has hit the Internet. The memo includes charts indicating that Amazon and eBay searches are much more prevalent than Google Shopping searches in Europe. Also, Google's memo details that it is expecting the E.U.'s regulators to open an investigation into Android as soon as Wednesday.

Source: Washington Post