Google has been under fire with the European Commission about antitrust violations for years now. The company’s biggest two complaints right now deal with Android and the way they require OEMs to pre-install their applications while the other pertains to its Google Shopping comparison division. The company filed for an appeal for this investigation earlier this month and has been working on some terms that both them and the EU will agree with.
It seems that the company is likely more worried about the Android investigation as they are quickly trying to resolve the Google Shopping one. The New York Times reports that this move “frees Google up to battle European regulators over claims that the company uses its Android operating system to dominate online search.” Which certainly makes sense too, and even a company as big as Google will only have so many attorneys working for them, and having two big investigations going on at the same time makes them split their resources.
So after the appeal, the company proposed that they would make an auction for the shopping comparison feature on its search engine. This way, it would force Google to bid against competitors in order to gain that prominent position on the page. Google is now taking this idea one step further and saying they will completely separate its European shopping unit from the company So while it would create a stand-alone unit for its shopping service, the unit itself will still remain part of its overall business.
The change here is that it will operate separately and will be subject to regular monitoring by the European Commission. These proposed changes are going into effect today so the company does not face any additional fines from the European Commission. As a result, about a dozen shopping sites from other companies now have the potential to become more visible and accessible.
Source: The New York Times