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August 18, 2022
DailyNews – MK
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Exclusive: Group of 165 Google critics call for swift EU antitrust action – letter

A group of 165 companies and industry bodies have called on EU antitrust enforcers to take a tougher line against Google, saying the U.S. tech giant unfairly favours its own services on its web searches.

The group includes U.S. and UK companies as well as peers in 21 EU countries. It sent a joint letter to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Thursday, saying Google was giving its own services, such as those for accommodation, travel and jobs, preferential placement in its search results and urging swift action to stop the practice.

Google, a unit of Alphabet GOOGL.O, has refuted assertions that it unfairly favours its own services. It says that its users are not locked in and that competition to its services is just one click away on the internet.

Vestager has levied fines totalling 8.25 billion euros ($9.7 billion) against Google in the past three years for abusing its market power to favour its shopping comparison service, its Android mobile operating system and its advertising business.

The 165-strong group – which says it is the largest-ever to write in concert to EU competition chiefs urging action – comprised 135 companies that offer online services plus 30 industry associations.

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