Monday, 23 April 2018

A Google Breakup Would Fit the EU's Logic.

One-stop shopping.
Photographer: Carsten Koall/Getty Images
The company's response to antitrust concerns was not enough for the European Parliament.

On Thursday, the European Parliament backed the idea of breaking up Google. It doesn't have the power to do it, but the legislators' decision is a notable part of a backlash against the remedial action Google took after the European Commission fined it 2.4 billion euros ($2.95 billion) for abusing its dominant position in shopping search. That backlash can lead to dire consequences for the search giant.

The commission found last June that by giving its own product comparison service, Google Shopping, prime "real estate" at the top search result pages, Google was hampering competition for independent shopping comparison websites. The company's remedy is to hold auctions for spaces in the special box in which comparison results appear if a user searches for a product to buy. Google Shopping bids in these auctions on the same terms as its rivals, and Google has promised to keep the service profitable so it can't outbid the competition every time with the company's vastly superior resources.

By Leonid Bershidsky.
Full story at Bloomberg.

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