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EU extends deadline for Google in AdSense antitrust case

Search engine giant will get an extra week to respond to charges.

By James Nunns

The European Commission has extended the deadline for Google to respond to charges over misuse of its dominant position in online search advertising.

The search engine giant will now have an additional week until November 3 to respond to the allegations, European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso told Reuters.

Cardoso in a mail to the publication said: “Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file.

“In line with normal practice, the commission analysed the reasons for the request and granted an extension allowing Google to fully exercise its rights of defence.”

The extension of the deadline could delay a regulatory decision on the antitrust case until 2017.

Earlier, the Commission had set October 26 as the final date for the company to respond.

In July, it claimed that Google abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages.

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The Commission said the company artificially blocked the possibility of third party websites to display search advertisements from its rivals.

It said: “The Commission is concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries – this is to the detriment of consumers, and stifles innovation.”

The third antitrust case against Google in the EU region pertains to its online search advertising product AdSense for Search.

Google faces charges over misuse of its dominant position in online search advertising.

Google faces charges over misuse of its dominant position in online search advertising.

The Commission alleged that it prevented existing and potential competitors, including other search providers and online advertising platforms, from entering and growing in this commercially important area.

It added: “Google places search ads directly on the Google search website but also as an intermediary on third party websites through its “AdSense for Search” platform (“search advertising intermediation”). These include websites of online retailers, telecoms operators and newspapers.”

Over the past ten years, Google is estimated to have a market share of around 80% in the market for search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Commission said that Google breached EU antitrust rules by imposing the several conditions for third parties, including blocking search ads from Google’s competitors.

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