Google rejects EU antitrust charges that it abused its market power, and distorted internet search results to favour its shopping service. Grace Pascoe reports on the latest in the investigation.
The European Commission has accused Google of distorting internet search results, favouring its own shopping service at the expense of rivals. But in a 150 page rebuttal, Google has rejected the EU antitrust charges, saying they're wrong. Reuters Breaking Views editor John Foley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS BREAKING VIEWS EDITOR, JOHN FOLEY, SAYING: "What this really is, is a very interesting case for textbooks and for anti-trust lawyers because it strikes to the heart of what is a monopoly of the internet and particularly what is a monopoly that is created because users actually want to go to Google. It is not like an oil company that has the pipes that no one else can use. This is what you call an elective monopoly. People like using Google and is it fair to punish Google for that? That is what they have to decide." The European Commission will study Google's defence before deciding how to proceed. Mike Ingram is from BGC. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC, MARKET ANALYST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Of course politicians are going to continue to take an active interest in what companies such as Google which has over a 90 percent market share in search in Europe are actually doing." If found guilty, the company could receive a hefty fine. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS BREAKING VIEWS EDITOR, JOHN FOLEY, SAYING: "For Google the charges are not financially terribly serious. The European Commission can fine up to 10 percent of their global revenues which sounds awful but it is very unlikely that they would do that." It's a legal battle which could become one of the most sensitive competition cases of the internet era. And arguments may rumble on for a long time to come.