It appears that Google's rivals, who have complained about the ad giant's European dominance, are worried that bashing the goliath can go too far.
“It is irresponsible to try and make the Google case seem wider than it actually is,” said Microsoft-backed ICOMP, an organisation representing big businesses that have moaned to the European Commission about the Chocolate Factory’s alleged abuse of dominance in the web search world.
In recent weeks, the anti-Google feeling in the Brussels bubble has reached new proportions with the European Parliament weighing in and asking the Commission to consider forcing Google to unbundle search from its other services in order to resolve the competition case.
French and German governments also contacted the Commission calling for a public consultation about what is an appropriate regulatory framework for "essential platforms" at European level. And Europe’s data protection watchdog has issued a set of guidelines telling Google what to do about the so-called right to be forgotten.
"It must be frustrating for Google that European politicians are concerned about its activities. Google no doubt also feels frustrated by the activities of European data protection authorities and antitrust enforcers and the fact that the European consumer body BEUC has filed a formal complaint," reads an ICOMP statement.
Of course, the group is sticking to its guns as far as its complaint is concerned, saying that Google must be held to the same standards as other companies operating in Europe, adding, "There is no vendetta and no bias against US companies."
The competition case against the search giant has been dragging on for more than three years now, as the previous Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia repeatedly tried and failed to find a compromise amid claims that Google was unfairly favouring its own services in search results.
He came close to an agreement on more than one occasion, but ultimately backed down as other European Commissioners as well as the complainants kicked up a fuss.
Almunia was keen to stress that his change of mind was the result of evidence presented by the complainants, and not as a result of lobbying or political pressure. Many in Brussels remain unconvinced. ®