Seven U.S. tech giants signed a letter of support for the European Union and its Commission in regards to a recently concluded investigation into Google’s anti-competitive practices. The letter authored by the likes of Oracle Corporation, Yelp, Trip, and News Corporation was addressed to Margrethe Vestager, current European Commissioner for Competition whose department yesterday presented Google with a historic antitrust fine of €2.42 billion ($2.73 billion), thus more than doubling the previous record penalty issued on the Old Continent for monopolistic behavior.
The letter itself was sent only a day before the European Commission (EC) officially announced that the Alphabet-owned company is penalized for creating an anti-competitive online environment and can be seen as an attempt to draw the attention of U.S. regulators to the issue. The likes of Getty Images, News Media Alliance, Disconnect, and the aforementioned companies — all of whom have signed the latest letter to the EC — have repeatedly complained about a number of Google’s practices in the past and are likely to be pleased with the latest turn of events. Their address to the EC specifically accuses Google of making a conscious effort to “undermine competition in the United States” and foreign countries, with the authors claiming that the Mountain View, California-based Internet firm is consequently hurting innovation and job growth in every market in which it employs such tactics. The address ends on a straightforward note, explicitly stating that U.S. regulators should use the EC’s penalty against Google as a guideline for how the company should be regulated in its home country.
Google already went on record to defend itself against the EC’s ruling, with its Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker publishing a public statement on the matter that reveals the tech giant “respectfully disagrees” with the verdict and will consider filing an appeal against it. Walker claimed that the firm’s shopping comparison service isn’t monopolistic but innovative and is a result of the Internet evolving and Google changing with it, adamant to meet the growing demand for an intuitive solution that compares prices of goods sold by various e-commerce outlets. An update on the situation is expected to follow in the coming months.