The Strategist

EU anti-trust regulators set to charge Google

04/15/2015 - 01:19

The anti-trust regulators of European Union are closing in on US software giant Google, with the watchdog currently planning to set up a charge sheet against the company, accusing it of abusing its market leader position.

The charge sheet will be filed by EU's Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and if proven, the company could face up to $6.6 billion of penalty, a Financial Times report noted. Vestager has narrowed the case she inherited from her Spanish predecessor Joaquin Almunia. She is said to have discussed over the final implications of this case and went ahead with dragging the internet company to the court, quite alike to her predecessor who rejected three settlement proposals from Google.

The EU investigation is coming in the heels of perceived dominance of American tech companies. This case would be one of the most watched-out in the history of technology companies due to its political significance. Joaquin Almunia launched the case in 2010 and concluded that Google may have abused its market leader power by favoring its own products and services and by blocking advertisers to the platforms of its rivals including Yahoo and Microsoft. It was in last November that the European Parliament passed a resolution for its antitrust commission to examine a possible separation of the search engine's business from other commercial services provided by Big G and similar companies.

This is not the first time that the European watchdog aimed its probe at an American tech company. Microsoft Inc has also been hit with fines of more than $2.34 billion. Googe itself is facing high resistance in Europe with Germany blocking its Google Maps Streetview service indefinitely and around 200 German publishers blocking their content from appearing in Google News.