Nineteen companies, including Expedia and Microsoft are expected to receive a copy of the Commission’s antitrust charge sheet against Google later this week. Sources revealed to Reuters’ that the Internet search giant will have until July 7, to respond to the alleged charges. If found guilty, there is chance that Google might be fined up to $6.6 billion.
Among the companies that will be reviewing Google’s charge sheet, Axel Springer, a German publisher and the popular reviews website Yelp, played a key role in helping the Commission file this case against Google almost five years ago.
Earlier this month, Vestager told the British news network that the Commission is looking into Google’s practices because “there had been a number of complaints about the copying of third-party content.”
In some European countries, Google places its own web services in query results as opposed to sharing the space with its rivals. Reportedly, in addition to being fined, Google might be forced to restructure its business practices to allow other companies, such as Yelp to display their results in search queries.
The antitrust chief explained why she decided to focus the investigation around Google’s shopping service, as opposed to any of its other part of its business. She said, “I found it was just prudent to take one of the first areas in which there was complaints, and then of course to refresh the case when it comes to the data." It was also way to “move the case forward.”
While the case against Amazon is different in nature, the basis for both investigations remains the same: abuse of market dominance. Reuters said, the competition commissioner announced last week that she will review certain clauses in Amazon’s contracts that prohibits publishers from sweetening deals to competitors.
"Amazon should not use its strong position to close the door behind it and prevent companies with new ideas from contesting the market," she told a conference.
If found guilty, Amazon will have to shell out up to 10 percent of its global turnover.