Just as Google proposed a settlement with the EU, on January 30, 2013 i-Comp filed a new complaint of antitrust charges about which Bloomberg reported that Google’s “search results discriminate against competitors.” I-Comp is led by Microsoft and posted on its website:
By creating an illegal network of exclusive relationships with these important partners, Google achieved its key objective: gaining scale for itself while preventing its rivals from doing the same,…
MSN News (published by Microsoft) reported:
- If the commission accepts the proposals under its settlement procedure, it would mean no fine and no finding of wrongdoing against Google.
- Companies found to be in breach of EU rules can be fined as much as 10 percent of global turnover, which could mean up to $4 billion if there is no satisfactory resolution in Google’s case.
It is significant that comScore estimates that Google accounts for about 82% of all EU searches and about 67% of all US searches.
Since the FTC concluded that Google did not violate US antitrust laws in early January 2013 the new EU antitrust claims do not allow for a swift settlement as apparently Google hoped.