The expected announcement that EU antitrust charges are going to be issued to Google are sure to be a major blow to the company’s European presence given that as early as last month it was revealed that it was facing the prospect of a €3bn fine over its second antitrust charge. Google did not respond to a request for comment. Most of the company’s $74.5 billion revenue in 2015 came from advertising. Namely, the European Union has announced certain actions which could realistically result in a third formal antitrust complaint against Google in the span of just two years.
The concern is to find whether Google disallows or thwarts website operators from displaying ads on their websites that rival its advertising business. Furthermore, reports claim that this is an ongoing situation as the latest request for evidence against Google was filed just a few days ago. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been particularly aggressive in pursuing American companies for violations, though has said she does not harbor a national bias.
Google is already fighting two other investigations that the European Union has escalated since Vestager took over as European Union antitrust chief in late 2014. In a report from Brussels, The Wall Street Journalsaid the European Commission has asked companies that have confidentially aired grievances against Google over its alleged advertising abuses for permission to notify Google of the details of those complaints. The first involved Google allegedly “unfairly promoting its own services over rivals in shopping search services”.
In addition to the comparison shopping probe, regulators are now pursuing a case against the company for the contracts it signed with smartphone manufacturers using its Android operating system.