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Google vs EU: Search Abuse Charges Made

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Google dodges a bullet in the US but may face a firing squad in the EU

Now it is official, after weeks of rumblings and rumors, the European Union has filed a complaint for anti- competitive behavior against online search giant Google. While in the US, Google was able to avoid legal complications regarding anti-competitive behavior; they were unable to avoid issues when it came to the EU.

The EU’s Anti-Competition Czarina

In a report from BBC.com, Margrethe Vestager, the EU?s anti-competition commissioner, had issued an official ?Statement of Objections? as the company, through promotion of its own shopping links, is a clear violation of competition rules in the EU.

Upon receipt of the statement of objections, the Mountain View, CA based company has ten weeks to respond. The initial response to the claim is that it ?strongly disagrees? with the allegations stated and is looking forward to defend itself in the proper forum.

Vestager also said that the EU?s inquiry into the uncompetitive activity, according to a USAToday.com report, may expand into other areas such as travel and maps. There is also headway into the use of its popular Android operating system as a means to gain an upper hand against others in the mobile services platform.

The Response from Google and Other Netizens

Many in the industry say that the charges against Google are but the same treatment that other companies have faced in the European Union. In a report from CNet.com, Microsoft also had an issue with anti-competitive activity in the EU, resulting in millions of Euros in fines for various violations, such as the Windows Media Player and other transgressions.

According to a report from Wired.com, a leaked internal memo published by the news site Re/code reported that Google saw it coming. The memo said that it EU?s move was forthcoming, with an advisory to its employees not to make any comments on the matter, either internally or externally.

For its defense, Google said there is increasing competition in terms of search and from other service offers. This is most especially prevalent in the mobile platform, such as mobile apps from other companies such as Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. The memo concludes, ?All told, consumers have a lot of choice and they are exercising it.?

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