41 European comparison shopping services are complaining about Google. They say the search engine is “artfully avoiding compliance with the law and the decisions of authorities” and that Google continues abusing market power.
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The founders and CEOs of the 41 European comparison shopping services (including Compare Group, Preisvergleich, Testberichte and Ceneje) have undersigned a letter to Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition.
Letter against Google’s non-compliance with EC decision
In the joint letter, the services call for actions against Google’s non-compliance with the decision from the European Commission in June 2017. Back then, the Commission concluded that Google enabled a more favorable positioning and display of its own comparison shopping service, Google Shopping, compared to competing services. It ordered Google to immediately bring this to an end.
Google changed, but is it better now?
Google got a record-breaking fine of 2.4 billion euros and decided to split off Google Shopping, after which the EU concluded that Google has improved its comparison shopping service. “There is an uptake, also the inventory of rival ads is increasing compared to what it was just a few months ago. But we’ve taken no decision, neither on one side to say that this is fine, nor to the other to say ‘no, it’s not’”, Vestager said.
Now, many comparison shopping services from Europe say Google is still abusing its market power, which harms consumers and digital companies all over Europe. Directed to Vestager, they say: “We would like to encourage you to vigorously enforce your decision in order to – finally – bring Google’s condemned self-favoring to an end.”
‘Effective competition has not been re-established’
They continue: “We would like to stress that ten years after the first formal complaints from within our industry and two years after the Shopping Decision, effective competition in the national markets for comparison shopping has not been re-established.”
The list of complaining comparison shopping services: