The European Commission has confirmed that a number of probes into Google’s unfair behavior in the marketplace are ongoing. According to a report on BBC, European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who hopes to create a digital single market, said that there are still active investigations into Google’s travel, advertising, mapping flight and third party data services.
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, Google might be slapped with a huge fine and will 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.”
The Commission reported that almost half of all EU consumers shop online. While this is good news for the online market, it raises the possibility of cross-border restrictive business practices. The Commission reports that only 15 percent of EU consumers bought products from a seller based in another EU Member State—suggesting that restrictions such as language barriers, consumer preferences, different legislations and anti-competitive practices exist.
After more than five years of intense scrutiny by the EU, in April, Vestager along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reached a decision to charge Google. This is not the first time European regulators have chased American tech giants. A decade ago, Microsoft racked up a total of $3.4 billion in fines over antitrust issues.