It looks like Google won’t be getting off as easy in Europe as it did here in the U.S. with regards to recent antitrust investigations.
As you may know, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced last week that it did not find Google’s search business to be in violation of U.S. antitrust laws, but that the company was making a couple of voluntary changes. More on all of that here.
The European Commission, however, believes Google is “diverting traffic” to its own services, and that it will be forced to change the way it presents search results in Europe or face charges. EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia said as much in an interview with the Financial Times (registration required).The publication quotes him as saying:
“They are monetising this kind of business, the strong position they have in the general search market and this is not only a dominant position, I think – I fear – there is an abuse of this dominant position.”
Bloomberg, meanwhile, reports that Foundem, which has been complaining about Google’s practices for years, and in fact filed a complaint with the EU, which led to the investigation, filed a suit against the company in October, with court documents being released this week.