Wednesday

19th Sep 2018

EU's new competition chief promises more Google probes

The EU's next competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said there will be more anti-trust investigations into Google under her watch.

"There will be next steps on Google. They have a huge market share and there are a number of new complaints, like recently the one in Germany," she noted in her hearing in the European Parliament's economics committee on Thursday (2 October).

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Vestager would not go into details, but said she will continue the work of her predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, who led an anti-trust probe against the US company which ended in a settlement earlier this year.

A regional regulator in Germany on Wednesday ordered Google to limit how it combines customer data to find out information such as marital status and sexual orientation. Google said it is reviewing the order.

The US company is also embroiled in a case with some of Germany's largest news publishers, who have filed a complaint against the use of their content in Google searches.

Google has said it will penalise over 200 German news websites, with the search engine now only showing the title of their articles, without images or summaries of their content.

The ban includes Axel Springer, who owns Bild and Die Welt, along with other newspapers, magazines, TV and radio sites.

The complaint, filed in June with the regional court of Munich, is part of a wider movement of European publishers, who accuse Google of abusing its dominant position.

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