Google working to comply with EU antitrust ruling

Google working to comply with EU antitrust ruling
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Google is working with the European Union to change its comparison shopping tool following a June order that it violated Europe’s competition laws.

The company submitted potential changes for its shopping service on Tuesday to the European Commission, the enforcement arm of the EU, a Google spokesperson confirmed.

Both the commission and Google did not release the proposed changes.

The commission gave Google 60 days to submit proposed changes and 30 additional days to implement them to comply with the ruling. Google has until Sept. 28 to make the necessary changes. If it doesn't, it will face more penalties. 

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“It is Google's sole responsibility to ensure compliance with the Commission antitrust decision. The Commission's role is to monitor Google's compliance,” a commission spokesperson said in a statement. “Furthermore, Google will continue to be under an obligation to keep the Commission informed of its actions by submitting periodic reports.”

In June, the European Commission handed Google a record $2.7 billion fine for violating antitrust laws with its shopping search service, which lets online customers compare prices from different retailers. Regulators found that Google favored its own search results over rival comparison shopping services.

The ruling was the result of a six-year investigation of the company’s practices.  

“Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals,” the EU’s commissioner of competition, Margrethe Vestager, said at the time. “Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.”

The company fought the charges, saying that the commission did not properly take into account competitors like eBay and Amazon.

Google initially suggested it might appeal the decision before deciding to comply.

The commission is still investigating antitrust allegations regarding Google’s Android mobile operating system and its Adsense advertising product.