Google faces another antitrust complaint in Europe

Google faces a new complaint by parent company of orginal complainant

French company 1plusV has accused Google of stopping smaller competitors from generating advertising revenue by abusing its dominant position in the search market. The company said it made the allegations in a complaint filed with European Union antitrust authorities on Tuesday.

The European Commission confirmed on Tuesday that it had received a fresh complaint against Google.

However, the Commission said it would give Google time to react before deciding whether to move forward.

Google is already the subject of an antitrust investigation launched by the Commission last November, after three complainants accused it of demoting rival sites in search results and giving preference to its own services. The latest complainant, 1PlusV, is the parent company of one of the original complainants, French search engine

The substance of the new complaint is very similar to that made last year. 1plusV says that Google repeatedly delisted pages on its search engine between 2007 and 2009. However, it claims it has evidence of a series of new abuses as well as additional proof of the abuses already highlighted last year.

The latest complaint comes just days after competitors were to return questionnaires pertaining to the original investigation. The Commission sent out questionnaires to advertisers, publishers, website owners and rival search engines in December, asking for their views on Google's business practices by Feb. 11.

The forms have nearly 100 questions to determine whether Google's algorithm unfairly penalizes rival companies. One of the questions asks: "Has your company noticed sudden and significant changes in its ranking on search engines like Bing, Google or Yahoo? Have you noticed any sudden drops in the number of users sent to your services by Google that cannot be explained by changes on your website? "

With such a huge amount of information to sift through, the Commission is expected to take some months before reaching a conclusion. And it reiterates that it is still only investigating to determine if competition rules were broken.

Google is talking to the Commission to attempt to bring the investigation to a swift resolution. The regulators' investigation into Microsoft took more than 10 years to resolve and Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said recently that the company has no stomach for such a lengthy legal battle.

"We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission, explaining many aspects of our business. We believe there is always room for improvement, so we are working to address any potential concerns," said Google spokesman Al Verney, referring to the new complaint on Tuesday.

Google sources said last year that its international rival, Microsoft, has a hand in two of the original complaints by Ciao and Foundem. Microsoft owns Ciao.

In the E.U. Google controls more than 80 percent of the online search market. The company already faces separate antitrust inquiries in Italy, Germany and France. The Commission can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover for breaching E.U. rules.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags antitrustGoogleFoundem1plusVeuropean commissionlegalCiaointernetsearch

More about European CommissionGoogleMicrosoftYahoo

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jennifer Baker

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place