In order to avoid a legal battle over Google’s market dominance, the company has written to the European Competition Commission proposing changes in the way they do business. The giant corporation has been under scrutiny since 2010 following complaints from rival companies including Microsoft.
Eric Schmidt wrote a letter, which so far has not been made public, addressed to the European Competition Commissioner: “We have made a proposal to address the four areas the European Commission described as potential concerns. We continue to work cooperatively with the commission,” Schmidt said.The four areas described are:
1. Google favouring its own services in search results
2. How content is displayed from other websites
3. Managing adwords
4. How it’s actions affect marketers ability to buy ads on rival networks
If the European Competition Commission do decide to file a case against Google the company could be fined up to 10% of their annual revenue and going on last year’s figures, this could be as much as £2.4Billion!
However, Google hope that it doesn’t come to this and that the issue comes to a swift settlement.
The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (Icomp) welcomed the news:
“Despite coming two years late, today’s acceptance of the commission’s ‘framework’ and possible offer of remedies is a hugely significant acknowledgement by Google of their market dominance and recognition of illegal anti-competitive behaviour,” said David Wood, counsel for Icomp.
“It is essential that the proposed remedies receive vigorous scrutiny not only by the commission but also by third parties, to ensure they provide full redress for the damage caused by Google’s behaviour and prevent its repetition.
“Any failure to do so will likely have grave consequences for online competition, innovation and consumer choice.”
Google face further similar investigations in the USA, South Korea and India.
In reality it is doubtful that these changes will make a huge difference to competition in this sector as Google is now such a huge household name and an integral part of so many marketing strategies, that many wouldn’t even consider using any other service.
Find out more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18687240