Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) could be headed for another legal battle with the European Union over claims that the tech giant is directing traffic to some of its non-search services. Speaking yesterday, the European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that several complaints have been registered with them, and they could be setting up investigations into the matter soon.
“We have received complaints on the possible diversion of internet traffic toward Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) services which are not search services, so this is a possible third investigation concerning Google,”
Almunia told a European Parliament hearing.
If a probe is started on the allegations and the owner of the largest search engine is found guilty, it could face even a bigger case that what Microsoft Corporation faced for a period of about 10 years. The company had to part with more than $2.8 billion in fines.
This revelation comes at a time when Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has already received a warning that it should improve its settlement proposition in relation to its search engine service, failure of which the company will face litigation. Almunia has however rejected calls from some quarters demanding that block the search engine from operating within the European Union territory.
Regarding the new concerns, Al Verney, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) spokesman said:
“We continue to work with the European Commission to resolve their concerns.”
Alumunia didn’t provide further information on the next course of action as regards the new complaints, but only said that something will definitely be done about it.
Some other complaints have been raised about Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) owned operating system, Android, which is said to demand that all devices using the operating system must pre- install some Google services. The U.S. tech company has also been accused by rivals and several publishers of leveraging its internet power to push out competitors by directing most searches to its services.
This article has been written by Victor Ochieng.