Google officially responded to charges levelled by the European Commission that it unfairly favored its own products over its competition and abused its market dominance to crowd out potential rivals. The EC began poking around back in 2010 so this isn't the first time that Google has had to publicly defended its position. "Economic data spanning more than a decade, an array of documents and statements from complainants all confirm that product search is robustly competitive," Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, wrote in the Google Europe blog.
Showing ads based on structured data provided by merchants demonstrably improves ad quality and makes it easier for consumers to find what they're looking for. We show these ad groups where we've always shown ads -- to the right and at the top of organic results -- and we use specialized algorithms to maximize their relevance for users. Data from users and advertisers confirms they like these formats. That's not "favoring" -- that's giving our customers and advertisers what they find most useful.
Walker also took exception with the EC's proposed remedy, which would require Google show ads sourced from other companies in its own advertising spaces at the top and right of the natural search results. Google faces a maximum fine of €6 billion should the EC determine it has been operating a monopoly.
[Image Credit: Associated Press]