Europe charges Google with market abuse in online shopping CNN Money

Europe has launched a legal battle against Google, accusing the search engine giant of abusing its dominant position to hurt competitors.

The European Commission said Google (GOOG) is promoting its own shopping comparison services over rival products.

“The Commission is concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries — to the detriment of consumers and rival comparison shopping services,” it said in a statement.

It wants Google to treat its own products and those of its competitors equally in search results.

Europe’s top anti-trust official Margrethe Vestager said Google’s size was not the problem.

“The reason why we use it is because Google has very good product. Dominance in itself is not the problem,” she said at a news conference. “But dominant companies can’t abuse their dominant position to create advantage in related markets.”

The move against Google could become the biggest competition battle since the E.U. took on Microsoft a decade ago. The EU could force Google to change its business model and pay a fine of up to $6 billion.

Google, which controls about 90% of web searches in Europe, now has 10 weeks to respond to the accusation.

The Commission has also launched a full probe into Google’s Android mobile operating system after a group of competitors accused the company of using it to “monopolize the mobile marketplace and control consumer data.”

Vestager said the Commission is acting in the interest of consumers and innovators.

Google has already lost its battle over the “Right to be forgotten,” a European law that requires the company to remove certain unwanted, inappropriate links from search results if requested.


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