Google is crying foul once again as the company is readying its official answer to the investigations and accusations leveraged against it by the EU’s antitrust regulators. Related to its shopping and product search business, the company is saying that the EU just doesn’t get how the internet works, and that they’re not breaching any antitrust rules.
Google has been under a number of different investigations from the European Commission with regards to its business practices in the mobile world, the online ad segment, and the comparative product shopping business. In all three of these areas, the commission has found Google to be abusing its market dominance, favoring its own products, and hurting competition and consumers.
But that’s only because the commission is staffed full of people who just don’t get how the internet works – according to Google. In a blog post on its site, the company announced it had finally sent an official response to the EU. Google also went on to defend its practices, this time with regard to product search and shopping online.
Much like it has previously done with accusations at Android and Google Travel, the search engine giant dismissed any wrongdoing and claimed that because other rivals exist, like Ebay and Amazon, whose search results don’t get discriminated against on its engine, that’s proof that it isn’t playing unfairly. Google said:
All of these services – search engines, price comparison sites, merchant platforms, and merchants – compete with each other in online shopping. That’s why online shopping is so dynamic and has grown so much in recent years.
However, critics say that the company’s ideas are simply trying to divert attention and are nothing more than red herrings. FairSearch represents some of Google's rivals in this field and it says Google doesn’t directly compete with Amazon or Ebay and so, of course, it doesn’t yet discriminate against those services in its search results. But smaller, price comparison services and websites, like Kelkoo and PriceRunner, which Google does directly compete against, constantly get trampled by the search giant’s unfavorable algorithms.
As mentioned previously Google is also expected to send a formal response to the EU with regards to the Android investigation, as well as another investigation into AdSense. The company could face record fines in all three areas.