EC Investigates Google for Potential Abuse of Dominance in Online Search Market

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In July 2010, Vice President of the European Commission (EC) responsible for competition policy, Mr. Joaquin Almunia, referred to the essential role that competition policy has in ensuring “market access and opportunities to all efficient players capable of delivering new value” in internet markets such as online search engines. Mr. Almunia recognized that the dynamics of these markets are complex because they are characterized by innovative business models that are constantly evolving and that market dominance on the internet is difficult to establish. However, he confirmed earlier press reports that the EC was in the preliminary stages of investigating allegations of anti-competitive conduct in relation to the EU's online search market, and stated that:

If companies do establish themselves in a strong position on a market, there may be risks that they will use this position to foreclose other markets. The fluid nature of the internet may make this more difficult to do than in other markets. Nevertheless it may be possible.

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