Google has reportedly taken steps to alter their Google Shopping search results to comply with the European Commission’s ruling relating to antitrust laws.
TechCrunch reports that Google has submitted details to the European Commission on how they plan to alter Google Shopping search results to comply with a recent antitrust ruling. Google was given until the end of September to make major changes to their Google Shopping search results or face daily fines from the European Commission. The EC has not revealed Google’s proposal for fixing the search issues and it seems that there are no plans to do so according to the European Union government.
“It is Google’s sole responsibility to ensure compliance with the Commission antitrust decision. The Commission’s role is to monitor Google’s compliance. In this context, the Commission can confirm that, as required by the Commission decision, it has received information from Google on how the company intends to ensure compliance with the Commission decision by the set deadline. Furthermore, Google will continue to be under an obligation to keep the Commission informed of its actions by submitting periodic reports,” A European Commission spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“The Commission decision requires Google to stop its illegal conduct within 90 days of the decision and refrain from any measure that has the same or an equivalent object or effect. In particular, the Commission decision sets out the principle that Google has to give equal treatment to rival comparison shopping services and its own service.”
Google has been accused of violating multiple antitrust issues and privacy violations, receiving a $2.7 billion fine from the European Union after they were found to be altering search results to direct customers towards their own websites when shopping online. “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Google initially seemed to consider filing an appeal against the EC’s decision, but this latest news implies that Google is instead complying with the EC. Kent Walker, a Google senior vice president said in a previous statement, “When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily. And advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”
Some groups have called for the publication of Google’s proposal to the EC, such as ICOMP, an ecommerce lobby group consisting of Google’s rivals. ICOMP’s Chairman Michael Weber said in a statement yesterday, “ICOMP calls for publication of the full commission decision and Google’s remedy proposals so that we and the public generally can compare the proposals (if any) with the Commission’s assessment of Google’s wrongdoing. These affect everyone in the online and mobile worlds, so they must be made public for evaluation.”
The European Commission continues to investigate Google.