Technology Google refutes EU competition probe

Google refutes EU competition probe

google(AA) – Google Inc. said Wednesday that it strongly disagrees with the European Commission’s accusations that the U.S. search engine giant favored its own shopping services.

The EU had launched on Wednesday an investigation into Google’s Android operating system, which dominates the mobile phone market.

In a blog post, Google refuted claims of harming competition rules and said agreements with mobile phone operators were voluntary.

“It’s why we respectfully but strongly disagree with the need to issue a Statement of Objections and look forward to making our case over the weeks ahead,” Google said in the post.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday: “Our preliminary view is that in its general Internet search result, Google artificially favors its own shopping service and this constitutes abuse.” 

“I have also launched a formal antitrust investigation of Google’s conduct concerning mobile operating systems, apps and services,” Vestagar said in a statement released earlier on Wednesday. “Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people’s daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.”

Google is more dominant in Europe than in the U.S. with around 90 percent of the market in some EU member states. 

The company could face fines exceeding $6 billion.

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