Google may or may not face a “statement of objections” from the EU’s antitrust department. Apparently it could go either way, as the regulators have so far been unable to decide whether or not to go this route.
I guess no news is good news for Google in this case.
According to Bloomberg, the formal complaint that may or may not happen would be related to alleged anticompetitive practice, as regulators investigate claims from competitors (including Microsoft of course) that Google has gone so far as to stop some sites from accepting rival ads.
The investigation appears to be about much more than just search results, though that is a big part of it. Some have even alleged that Google’s famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) Panda update has been used anti-competitively.
Newspaper publishers in Europe are complaining about Google’s use of news content…an age old complaint really.
Antitrust complaints about Google in general have also included complaints about reviews and travel information.
The company’s acquisition of ITA Software has been one of the biggest catalysts to such scrutiny, with travel sites, led by the FairSearch Coalition going on a huge campaign to push for regulation of Google’s ways.
As Google continues to acquire companies and get into more spaces, the complaints are likely to continue piling up.
In Europe, it’s still possible that Google could face a massive fine.