'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

Horse-trading between ad giant and Brussels begins


Google has 10 weeks to respond to Brussels' preliminary finding that the world's largest ad broker abused its dominant position in the search market in Europe.

However, the company was quick to attack competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager's decision to issue a Statement of Objections against Google on Wednesday.

Mountain View, in a blog post which it strongly defended its business tactics, said:

We respectfully but strongly disagree with the need to issue a Statement of Objections and look forward to making our case over the weeks ahead.

It's likely that the powerful multinational will have been relieved to hear that the European Commission (EC) will not be demanding changes to Google's algorithm.

Vestager claimed that such a move would be bad for innovation. She said during a press conference in Brussels at lunchtime:

It's very difficult to supervise the algorithm ... it is very important to find something that is guided by principle, which basically leaves the algorithm and the screen design to Google.

Google unsurprisingly bigged up its own view of innovation in Europe by highlighting the services being built by rival players. It said:

Any economist would say that you typically do not see a ton of innovation, new entrants or investment in sectors where competition is stagnating – or dominated by one player.

Yet that is exactly what’s happening in our world. Zalando, the German shopping site, went public in 2014 in one of Europe’s biggest ever tech IPOs. Companies like Facebook, Pinterest and Amazon have been investing in their own search services and search engines like Quixey, DuckDuckGo and Qwant have attracted new funding.

We’re seeing innovation in voice search and the rise of search assistants – with even more to come.

The ad giant also claimed that there was plenty of competition in the online shopping market in the EU.

"While Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways – and allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark," claimed Google's search veep Armit Singhal – who apparently penned the blog post.

Next page: Early reaction

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