Competitors claim Google isn’t playing fair
Three complaints against Google about unfair competition are being studied by the European Commission, officials in Brussels confirmed yesterday.
But a commission statement, issued after the US search engine operator first revealed it was facing complaints, said there is no formal investigation so far.
One of the complaints is from Foundem, a UK price comparison website. Online French and German companies have also accused Google of using its dominant search engine role to squeeze potential competitors and steer internet users towards Google products.
Google said it had been notified by the commission about the complaints, and insisted it was confident that its operations are in line with EU competition policy requirements.
The EC statement said: “The commission can confirm that it has received three complaints against Google which it is examining.
“The commission has not opened a formal investigation for the time being.
“As is usual when the commission receives complaints, it informed Google earlier this month and asked the company to comment on the allegations.
“The commission closely co-operates with the national competition authorities. No further information can be given at this stage.”
In an online blog Google said that British price comparison site Foundem and French legal search engine ejustice.fr had alleged that its search engine demoted their sites in search results because they were rivals.
Microsoft-owned Ciao had complained about its standard terms and conditions, it said.