It’s been four years now ever since European Union decided to investigate Google’s antitrust violations and which has now been brought to a standstill.
In talking about the complexity of this problem, the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, reveals in a statement, “Our current investigations involving Google are among the most discussed in the media. The sheer amount of data controlled by Google gives rise to a series of societal challenges. Privacy is one of the most pressing concerns. Media pluralism is another. Not all of these challenges are primarily economic in nature and not all of them are competition related. So many of the Google related concerns voiced in the public debate cannot be addressed in our investigations into the company’s alleged anti-competitive practices. We will have to limit ourselves to what we identify as competition problems.”
She goes to say that more time will be needed to decide what steps need to be taken against Google. This can spell trouble for both Yelp and Microsoft who have been behind this complaint as well as a number of other competitors.
Of course, she also intends to speak to those who have been affected by Google’s practices and which will involve taking into consideration a “representative sample of views of those concerned”. In addition to this, getting all the facts right, in a fast-moving market, is also a priority that she is taking very seriously.
This development comes at the inopportune time when the commission was so close to making a clear decision on the matter.