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EU says Google favors its shopping service in user searches

After a five-year investigation, the European Union charged Google with using its Internet search dominance to favor its own shopping platform. The EU is also looking into Google’s Android mobile system, accusing the company of illegally obstructing rival systems and applications. Gwen Ifill reports on the latest case of Europe battling with major U.S. tech companies.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Now a look at the antitrust action the European Union has filed against Google.

    We start with a little background.

  • MARGRETHE VESTAGER, Competition Commissioner, European Union:

    Today, we have adopted a statement of objection to Google.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    After a five-year investigation, the European Union has charged Google with using its Internet search dominance to favor its own Google shopping engine.

  • E.U. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager:

  • MARGRETHE VESTAGER:

    What we would like to see is that consumers are certain to see the best comparison shopping results, and they shouldn’t just be shown the Google shopping results.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The move could lead to billions of dollars in fines for Google, which handles more than 90 percent of Internet searches in E.U. countries. Its U.S. share is around 70 percent.

    Google responded to the accusations yesterday, insisting that its shopping results have not harmed the competition, adding, “Any economist would say that you typically do not see a ton of innovation in sectors dominated by one player. Yet that is exactly what’s happening in our world.”

    In a separate probe, the E.U. is looking into Google’s Android mobile system. Officials say the company is illegally obstructing rival systems, applications and services. Google has 10 weeks to respond. The case is just the latest in Europe’s battles with major U.S. tech companies. Microsoft was forced to pay more than $2 billion in fines during a decade-long antitrust fight. And Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have also faced off with European regulators.

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