Google has said it took measures to preempt the lengthy antitrust probes currently being carried out by the European Commission. Oddly, that approach failed.
Speaking at the EU's Internal Market sub-committee, Adam Cohen, head of competition and economy policy for EMEA at Google, said the search firm made a decision to preempt an extended regulatory investigatory process.
"We did take that approach with the European Commission in 2012, we made a set of voluntary measures designed to address the core areas of this case that would speed things along – and that was unsuccessful," he said. Cohen did not elaborate on what those exact measures were.
The investigation that has received that most attention is the EU Commission's accusation that 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.
However, Cohen was sanguine about the process. "When regulators stop talking about you it might be a sign that you are less successful. Big successful companies are open to scrutiny and should let the facts speak for themselves."
According to a hefty legal response to the probe seen by Wall Street Journal, 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." ®