Google is on track to face its first European Union antitrust sanction, after little to none progress was made in the testing case with the bloc’s regulator over its shopping service, sources told reporters.
Only a small number of incentives are left to entice each group into signing a six-year-old deal, that will probably set a precedent for the hotel searches, together with the flights and other services and the test regulators ability to ensure diversity and fairness on the Web.
The Alphabet Inc. owned Google shows no signs of backing down from the fight with the regulators. Alphabet Inc. was just recently given a fine for using its dominant Android operating system as a means to block out and wrangle competition.
After three failed attempts, people close to the issue say that Google shows no interest in backing down to how search results favor its own shopping service unless the EU watchdog changes its own stance. The issue has been ongoing since 2010.
Google’s wish, however, is unlikely to come true, since the person in charge of Google’s investigation, Danish Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, has no interest in solving the issue unless one is fined or found guilty of some wrongdoing, sources say. Other companies big and small are also complaining making the matter even more complicated.
Many of Google’s rivals say that the company has nothing to lose even if it is fined since the fine would just fall under the cost of doing business category.
Both Google and the European Commission refused to comment on the issue.
From a pure profitability perspective, it is better off dragging out the competition case, continuing its practices for as long as possible, and ultimately paying a fine that will be smaller than the profits it generates by continuing the conduct
Thomas Vinje, a lawyer who advises several of Google’s competitors, told reporters.
To date, Google has had mixed results when taking regulatory authorities winning and losing some.