Daily Management Review

Google Refutes EU Antitrust Charges calling them ‘Inappropriate’


Google Refutes EU Antitrust Charges calling them ‘Inappropriate’
Alleging that the antitrust case that was going on against it by the EU as of unusual nature and as it had wanted to settle the case with concessions last year, Google has hit back at EU antitrust regulators' warning of a possible hefty fine, saying this would be inappropriate.
The world's most popular search engine also faulted regulators for not taking into account the fact that it was offering a free search service in its reply to the European Commission's April charge sheet.
The EU had alleged that Google was distorting search results to favor its shopping service, harming both rivals and users, following a five-year investigation. However Google’s response is being considered to be adequate and robust by experts.
The Commission wants to charge a hefty fine out of Google and based on its 2014 turnover, this could be as much as $6.6 billion. If Google was found guilty, then the commission would “set the fine at a level sufficient to ensure deterrence", the Commission's said in its charge sheet which is called a statement of objections.
According to a redacted version of its reply sent to complainants, Google said there was no basis for a sanction.
"Imposing a fine in the present case would be inappropriate. The novelty of the statement of objections' theory, the selection of the case for commitment negotiation and Google's good faith participating in these negotiations militate against the imposition of a fine," the document said.
As it provided a free search service therefore Google said it should not be charged with abusing its dominance in Europe.
"The statement of objections fails to take proper account of the fact that search is provided for free. A finding of abuse of dominance requires a 'trading relationship' as confirmed by consistent case law. No trading relationship exists between Google and its users," reads the reply from Google.
There was no comment available from the EU Antitrust Commission. On the other hand, Google spokesman Al Verney said the company had nothing to add to comments issued in August.
The document also criticized the EU enforcer for not providing an explanation for rejecting a third package of concessions offered in January.
The commission wants to take a final decision on the case soon enough and as such has asked all third parties to provide feedback to the Commission until the end of the month.
Last month Google managed to thwart a legal suit in the US from a group of authors that the book scanning project illegally deprives them of revenue. A U.S. appeals court ruled last month that Google's massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law.
Infringement claims from the Authors Guild and several individual writers were rejected by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and found that the project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law.
A year after the project was launched in 2005, the authors had sued Google for the project alleging infringement of copy rights. Google’s parent company is now named Alphabet Inc. The authors claimed that the scanning illegally deprived them of revenue.

(Source:www.reuters.com & www.npr.org)

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