European Union files a new set of anti-trust charges against Google

Over the past year, we’ve reported at length on an anti-trust drama unfolding between Google and the European Commission.  Today, that drama continues, as the New York Times is reporting that the European Union has filed a new set of anti-trust charges against Google.

The charges were announced by Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s antitrust chief, early on Thursday morning. This time claiming that Google’s advertising products limited consumer choice, the charges are the third set against Google in Europe since the start of 2015. Nonetheless, the charges are serious, and Google is facing fines of up to 10 percent, or about $7 billion, of its global annual revenue if it is found to have broken Europe’s anti-trust rules.

In a statement published in the New York Times, Margrethe Vestager said,

“Google’s conduct, based on our evidence, is harmful to consumers…Google’s magnificent innovations don’t give it the right to deny competitors the chance to innovate”

Google, however, also had a statement on the charges:

“We believe our innovations and product improvements have increased choice for E.U. consumers and promote competition.”

While Google has until the fall to respond to these latest charges, anti-trust battles such as the one between Google and Europe are not new. After gaining a dominant position throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s, anti-trust cases were brought against Microsoft for unfair monopolistic practices according to the US Department of Justice and the European Commission. More recently, CEO Satya Nadella also traveled to China to discuss a three-year long anti-trust invesitagtion into Microsoft’s bundling practices, such as including Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player in the Windows operating system.

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What do you think of these latest charges?