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August 28, 2015

Google denies EU’s search result manipulation claims

Accused of abusing its dominance, Google adopts defensive posture.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has rejected EU antitrust charges claiming that the search giant abused its power and manipulated search results especially in regards to displaying shopping links.

In Apri, the EUl accused Google of distorting search results in favour of its shopping service, which reportedly harmed rivals and consumers.

However, the search giant filed a formal response saying that its shopping service, which showed product images and related links at the top of other results, actually benefitted customers and businesses without unlawfully manupulating the market.

Google also claimed that shopping services have actually seen huge increases in traffic, and highlighted that over the last decade the search giant delivered more than 20 billion free clicks to aggregators while free traffic increased by 227%.

Google general counsel Kent Walker said: "Economic data spanning more than a decade, an array of documents and statements from complainants all confirm that product search is robustly competitive.

"We believe that the statement of objection’s preliminary conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics."

Walker also said that the way people are searching, comparing, and buying products are rapidly evolving, and users on desktop and mobile devices often go to trusted websites directly.

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"It’s in our interest to provide high-quality results and ads that connect people to what they’re looking for.

"The more relevant the ads — the better they perform in connecting potential buyers and sellers — the more value they generate for everyone," said Walker.

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