Google has rejected the EU’s antitrust charges that the firm has been abusing its market power. That said, if the Internet Company does not alter its business practices, it could face a huge fine from EU.
EU being biased?
In April, Google was accused by the European Commission of distorting Internet search results. This practice was benefiting its shopping service and was causing potential harm to the rivals and consumers.
In its defense, Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker wrote in a blog post on Thursday: “Economic data spanning more than a decade, an array of documents and statements from complainants all confirm that product search is robustly competitive,” adding that they believe “the statement of objection’s preliminary conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics.”
Walker mentioned in a blog post that the European Commission has not considered the strong competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com and eBay. The countries where Google has been accused of abusing its powers have seen a massive 227% rise in internet traffic in the last decade, the executive said.
Regulators demanded Google to treat all its rivals equally, and according to Walker, this was ‘peculiar and problematic.’ He said if the company would have been providing an essential service like electricity, only then would the demand from the regulators have been justified.
Google may face big fine
Google submitted a 150-page report in which it has countered the charges made by the commission. The response by Google to the charge sheet has been confirmed by Ricardo Cardoso, the spokesman of the commission. Cardoso said that the commission will go through Google’s response thoroughly, and a decision regarding further proceedings will be taken after that only.
Google’s arguments did not go down well with its foes. FairSearch, a lobby group with Microsoft, Nokia and TripAdvisor as its members, is also one of the complainants against Google. The group said Google’s defense says nothing concrete to change their opinion on the Internet firm.
Reuters, who has seen the charge sheet of the Commission, noted that Google will have to face a fine if found guilty, and the fine will be set at a level to ensure that the company does not undertake such activities again in future. The fine imposed on violators by the EU antitrust authority can be as large as 10% of their global revenues.