Google rejects EU's antitrust charges

In Google's antitrust battle against the European Union, the American search engine does not want to prove it is right – it only wants to prove the European Union is wrong.

That's what Google's formal response to antitrust charges the EU filed this spring against the California company says. According to a report by Market Watch, “the company argues that the EU’s charges—detailed in a document called a Statement of Objections, or SO—fail to take into account the fast growth of companies like Amazon.com and eBay Inc. Google executives have said these firms pose a new competitive threat, which undercuts the case that Google has harmed comparison-shopping companies like Nextag and LeGuide,” it says in the report.

“We believe that the SO’s preliminary conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics,” Google general counsel Kent Walker said in a written statement.

Google also believes the EU doesn’t have the legal justification to demand the firm include rivals in its comparison-shopping ads. To do so, Google argues, the EU would need to show that such ads are as essential as utility services.

The EU Commission said it will take Google’s response into careful consideration before deciding on how to proceed.

Back in 2010, the EU Commission opened a formal inquiry into Google’s practices, arguing that the search engine giant is abusing its dominant position in Europe to promote its own services, at the expense of the competition.

The company could face a fine set at a level sufficient to ensure deterrence if found guilty, according to the Commission’s charge sheet.