1The EU Commission has filed a formal complaint for violation of European Competition Law against Google at the antitrust agency. In addition, the commission is investigating Google’s utilization of its dominant position in relation to the mobile operating system Android.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the search engine giant is abusing its dominant position to the detriment of its competitors.

The procedure addresses Google Shopping that is said to systematically favor its own offers in the search, which is according to the Commission at the expense of consumers. The search engine company could be fined with up to EUR 6.6 billion as well as stricter requirements for its European business model.

Further, the Commission started as well a formal investigation against Google with respect to the mobile operating system Android. It suspects that Google had abused its dominant position in order to selectively prevent the development and market access of competing mobile applications. In fact, around 80% of smartphone owners in Europe use Android, according to Statista.

Since 2010, there are efforts within the EU of taking antitrust legal action against Google, but various negotiations between union organs and the group from Mountain View have ultimately been unsatisfactory. Just in January this year, the EU Parliament voted by the majority for the unbundling of large search engine companies. This fair competition process, that is strengthening the independence of individual business units, corresponds quite well to the union's practice, which in the past has already be happened with energy companies.

Daniela La Marca