Google Shopping Service Is Innovative, Not Monopolistic: SVP

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Google's shopping comparison service is innovative and not anti-competitive, the company's Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker said on Tuesday. In a short blog post published earlier today, Walker responded to a historic fine issued by the European Commission (EC) to Google, with antitrust authorities on the Old Continent ruling that Alphabet's subsidiary created a monopolistic online environment in an effort to hurt rivaling shopping prices comparison platforms and promote its in-house solution, thus directly benefiting from violations of a number of antitrust regulations of the European Union. Google SVP said that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant "respectfully disagrees" with the ruling and is now considering an appeal against the decision, in addition to listing a number of reasons why the company believes the EC was wrong to punish it.

Walker's main argument is that Google's current shopping comparison service that the company was now ordered to change is a result of years of "hard work and constant innovation," adding that the firm's internal data shows consumers prefer a streamlined search interface when shopping over the Internet and want a solution that takes them directly to product listings instead of a separate shopping comparison service where they have to repeat their queries. Google believes that it's not only fulfilling a legitimate demand for such a service but also promoting competition by doing so, allowing small businesses to use its shopping comparison platform to advertise their businesses and compete with e-commerce behemoths like Amazon and eBay, Walker suggested on Tuesday.

Google's General Counsel also noted how some businesses tend to do better than others across industries, possibly implying that the EC shouldn't be punishing companies that adapt to contemporary technologies and demands faster than others. The actual situation is significantly more complex as even some tech giants with comparable resources like Microsoft previously filed antitrust complaints against Google's practices, alleging that the company is abusing its market power in an effort to penetrate more segments. The ordeal led to a $2.73 billion fine that may rise even further if Google doesn't implement measures to create a more competitive online environment for shopping comparison services within the next 90 days and fails to successfully appeal the EC's decision.

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