Google comes under EU antitrust regulators' scanner

By Kul Bhushan | Published on 16 Apr 2015

Is Google abusing its dominant position in the Internet search space to deliver you distorted search results?

Google comes under EU antitrust regulators' scanner

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Google has continued to receive flak by the European Union's antitrust body over its alleged manipulated search results. Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition commissioner, slammed Google for allegedly manipulating search results. The antitrust body has also opened an antitrust investigation into its Android mobile.

“If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe,” Ms. Vestager is quoted as saying. 

Google, however, rejected concerns over hurting its users' interests. “While Google may be the most-used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways — and allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark,” the company said in a blog post.

It's not the first time Google and EU have locked horns. Recently, Google was compelled to launch a “right to be forgotten” tool that allowed users to remove specific results that may no longer be relevant or may infringe upon that person's privacy. The Internet giant has been receiving requests across the world to apply the right to be forgotten requests globally. However, Google has reportedly restricted “right to be forgotten” tool to only European versions of its search engine.

Last year, Google had released a data on right to be forgotten requests. It disclosed it had received as many as 5500 requests made under Dutch law, 7500 under Italian law and 8000 under Spanish laws. From the UK, Google received 12,000 requests referring to around 44,000 URLs. Germany stands second with 16,500 requests in reference to around 57,000 URLs. However, maximum requests came from France – about 17,500 requests referring to about 58,000 URLs.

That said, Google's alleged practice of distorting search results have also come under scanner of the Indian authorities. Last year, reports had surfaced stating Competition Commission of India (CCI) was probing into the allegations that Google abused its position in the Internet search engine space following a complaint by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) in 2012.

Kul Bhushan


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