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Google hit by new EU antitrust complaints over search

The charges claim that Google artificially skews search results to favour its own advertising platform over the competition.

EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager in Brussels earlier this year.
Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

The European Commission is going after Google again, arguing that the tech giant has abused its position as the world's leading search engine by favoring its own shopping service in search results.

The European Union's executive body also claims that the search giant has artificially restricted third-party websites' ability to display search advertisements from Google competitors.

"Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives. But that doesn't give Google the right to deny other companies the chance to compete and innovate," Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. "Today, we have further strengthened our case that Google has unduly favored its own comparison shopping service in its general search result pages."

Google will now need to respond to the claims before the case can move forward. It reportedly faces a fine of up to 3 billion euros ($3.33 billion).

"We believe that our innovations and product improvements have increased choice for European consumers and promote competition," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "We'll examine the Commission's renewed cases and provide a detailed response in the coming weeks."

The Mountain View, California-based company is also being investigated by the EU over business practices tied to its Android software.

"If our investigations conclude that Google has broken EU antitrust rules, the Commission has a duty to act to protect European consumers and fair competition on European markets," Vestager said.