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Google gets all lawyered up for ‘ambiguous’ EU anti-trust case

Ad flinger sends 130-page legal response to probe, says report

Giant ad flinger Google has launched a 130-page legal counter attack on the EU's plan to open anti-trust charges against it, according to reports.

The EU Commission believes the company has abused its dominant position in the market for general net search services by systematically favouring its own shopping comparison product in its general search results pages.

In April, the EU’s chief competition regulator Margrethe Vestager alleged that Google is illegally abusing its dominant position in the search market.

In an interview with the WSJ last week, Vestager warned that Google's parent company Alphabet could face more competition charges in Brussels.

Vestager added that other areas of investigation, such as the Android case and web-scraping allegations, continued to be a "high priority" for Brussels' officials.

According to a hefty legal response seen by WSJ, Google has unsurprisingly said there is “no basis” for the claims.

It said: “The theory on which the [EU’s] preliminary conclusions rest is so ambiguous that the Commission itself concluded three times that the concern had been resolved,” Google’s lawyers wrote in the document."

The EU’s demands, Google argues, amount "to a demand that we sacrifice quality to subsidize competitors".

In the interview with WSJ Vestager said: "[What] they have in common is that the name Google appears in each one, but apart from that they are very different. And therefore I do not think of it as one Google case but literally as different investigations and different cases," she said.

The Register has contacted Google for comment. ®

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