"But, But, Search is Free," is Google's Surprisingly Strong EU Antitrust Case Defence

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Google says it shouldn’t be punished for allegedly abusing its search dominance in Europe, as it provides a free service to users. The European Commission wants to slap the company with a hefty fine -- possibly as high as $6.6 billion -- but, Big G is convinced that the charges won’t stick.

EU antitrust regulators say that the tech giant manipulated search results in order to promote its own shopping services, harming both users and competitors. Google, however, is hanging its hopes on a technicality. As it’s free to use its search engine, Google says that no trading relationship exists between the company and its users. For accusations of abuse of dominance to fly, a trading relationship needs to be in place.

The company tried to settle the case with concessions last year, but the European Commission was determined to fight things out in court.