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Parliamentary questions
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22 August 2018
E-004315-18
Question for written answer E-004315-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Situation and update on the Google shopping case and Local search investigation
 Answer in writing 

The EC fined Google for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service. While the decision focuses on comparison shopping as a specialized search service, it establishes a framework for the assessment of the legality of this type of conduct in other contexts. The Commission’s explained that the Google Shopping decision ‘serves as a precedent’.(1)

Google refuses to recognise it at such. Google continues to eliminate competition in other verticals by engaging in self-favoring and the downgrading of rivals in other specialized search contexts, such as local search. Yelp, the local search provider, has recently filed a new complaint arguing that Google has abused its dominance in local search.(2)

As a result consumers are provided with inferior quality results powered exclusively by Google’s local review content. The European Consumer Organisation has also called upon the EC to act upon local search.(3)

1. Since Google has refused to recognise the implications of the 2017 decision for other areas of specialized search, what measures will the Commission undertake in order to reaffirm the principles of the decision in the context of the local search market.

2. Does the EC plan to act upon the complaints received by other specialized vertical search providers for similar abuses of dominance and in particular the latest Yelp complaint filed with regard to local search?

(1)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-1784_en.htm
(2)https://www.ft.com/content/42ac9192-5dd2-11e8-ad91-e01af256df68
(3)http://www.beuc.eu/blog/how-google-is-eroding-consumers-freedom-to-choose/

Last updated: 3 September 2018Legal notice