The European Union on Thursday filed new antitrust charges against Google claiming that the tech giant has abused its market dominance by favoring its own shopping service in search results.
The European Union's executive body also claims that the tech giant has abused its position as the world's leading search engine by artificially restricting the possibility of third party websites to display search advertisements from Google's competitors. The complaint mainly targets AdSense, a service the search giant offers to other firms to help them place adverts on third-party websites.
Normally, search engines share the revenue with the website operators when users click on the search advertisements. The practice has restricted existing and potential competitors from entering and growing in the market, the EU said.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said the U.S. tech giant has come up with many innovative products that have changed many a lives, however, that doesn’t give the search giant the right to decline other companies the chance to compete and innovate.
Vestager claimed that the search giant is dominant in these kinds of ads and has achieved almost 80 percent dominance over the last ten years. The U.S. company, however did not immediately respond to the charges.
The European Commission also beefed up its existing charge sheet in an earlier case against Google which alleges that the firm abused the dominance of its search engine for online shopping. Currently, there are three cases against the tech giant in total, with the EU having also filed charges against it for its Android mobile phone operating system in April.
Currently, the Mountain View Company has around 10 weeks to respond to the complaint. Since the past two years Vestager has launched a series of antitrust cases against U.S. firms, drawing complaints from Washington. Other investigations include charges against Starbucks, Amazon and McDonald's.
The new filed complaints came a day after the European Union gave the search giant more time to respond to the Android charges, extending the deadline June 27 to September 7.
The Mountain View company will now need to answer to the claims before the case can move forward. It reportedly faces fines up to 10 percent of the group's annual global sales or $7.4 billion based on their 2015 results.
The deadline extension was announced on the day U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew visited EU officials including Vestager in Brussels. The many charges filed by Vestager against U.S. organisations on competition issues have reflected on the transatlantic ties.
According to Vestager, EU is planning to file more charges over the way the search giant operates. She said that the commission is looking at complaints from image providers, publishers over how it displays content.
It is believed that Vestager's team will close a long-running state-aid inquiry into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland. It has been speculated that the iPhone maker might have to shell out $19 billion in back taxes.
Also, Lew has often complained to Vestager that EU antitrust regulators unfairly target U.S. companies, a charge the EU Competition Commissioner firmly denies.