Google complies with EU to hand over new price-comparison search model

30 Aug 2017

Google search. Image: Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock

Google has decided to play ball with the EU over the antitrust ruling slapped upon it, meaning that your online shopping will now be a lot more diverse.

Up until recently, the clock was ticking for Google to reveal how exactly it will stop favouring its online shopping services in its search engine.

On the eve of the EU deadline, Google relented and submitted plans before midnight on 29 August, thereby saving itself from further legal action.

According to Reuters, EU regulators revealed that they had received the documents from Google and will now wait to see how exactly the search giant will implement them.

In June, the company was hit with a record of €2.4bn fine by the EU over its dominance in e-commerce through the Google search engine.

As part of the accusation, the EU said that Google’s price-comparison service was unfairly demoting other services and that it must cease completely by 28 September this year.

If this second deadline is not met, Google could face having to pay as much as €10m per day until it is implemented, as the fine is based on 5pc of the global daily turnover of its parent company, Alphabet.

A spokesperson for the EU executive said in a statement: “Google will continue to be under an obligation to keep the [European] Commission informed of its actions by submitting periodic reports.”

Demands for plans to be made public

Meanwhile, lobbying group ICOMP –which represents all of Google’s rivals in the price-comparison stakes – has recommended that Google go above and beyond the requirements, and publish its exact plan to create more competition.

ICOMP head Michael Weber said: “These affect everyone in the online and mobile worlds, so they must be made public for evaluation.”

Last June, Google argued that the way it practised e-commerce was fair and that, in fact, users don’t even want to use price-comparison services in the first place.

Google search. Image: Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic