Margrethe Vestager has to act to protect IT from monopoly

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Anti-trust authorities in the European Union must be tough on American tech giants like Google who would abuse their market dominance. A group of 165 companies and IT organisations called for this. The complainants consider that the companies concerned unfairly favour their own services on the web.

The group consists of several companies from 21 EU countries. American and British companies have also supported the call. They sent a joint letter to EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has antitrust practices in her package.

Google, which is part of Alphabet, would, among other things, increase its own services, such as accommodation, travel and jobs, in its search results. This is against the rules according to the letter writers. To stop these practices, action must be taken quickly, as it sounds. Google has always contradicted the claims.

Over the last three years, Vestager has imposed fines of almost EUR 8.3 billion on Google for abusing its market power. These include unfair practices with Googles retail distribution service, Android operating system and its advertising company.

Among the signatories of the letter are the ancient Google critics Yelp, Expedia, Trivago, Kelkoo, Stepstone and Foundem. Their previous complaint was already grounds for action against Google.

According to the complainants, it is also too long before new European rules can prevent dominant online platforms from favouring their own services. They urge Vestager to act quickly to ensure that Google treats its competitors equally in the search results.

Vestager will announce a bill on 2 december. This requires the input of the EU member states and the European Parliament before it comes to actual legislation. This process may take a year or possibly even longer. It is also unclear whether the new rules will affect the presentation of Google’s search results.

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