It has been reported recently that Google may face formal anti-trust charges this week, and not get out of the situation by settling. If this is the case, and Google do face such charges, it could cost them billions.
What’s it All About?
Five years ago, the European Union launched an investigation into whether Google had violated its antitrust laws. It was previously reported that the European Commission and Google may settle, however political objections and lobbying have destroyed virtually all hope for Google.
The anti-trust charges against Google focus around the way in which Google presents itself and competitors in its own search results, with accusations that it favours its own results above those of competitors even if they are not always the most relevant. This is especially in reference to its seeming preference of its own Google Shopping results.
What are the Potential Consequences?
Margrethe Vestager – the antitrust regulator said of the matter, “If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe,”. Those consequences could, it seems, be a fine of around 6 billion dollars – that’s around 10 per cent of Google’s annual revenue.
Google are, of course, defending themselves, stating that people can find such information in various ways – not just through Google.
That’s Not All
The European Commission is also launching an investigation into Android. Similarly, this case again revolves around Google giving itself an unfair advantage. This investigation, put simply, is into whether Google is discouraging companies from using rival applications on Android phones.
With Google having such a huge influence over consumers, it comes as no surprise that Google have come under some scrutiny for preventing fair competition.