On Wednesday, the European Union (EU) is expected to drop the hammer on Google, charging the company with violating antitrust rules with its search dominance. It’s the tail end of a five-year investigation from the EU’s competition commission, and a prolonged regulatory headache for the search giant. It could be costly too: The EU is reportedly plotting a fine as large as $6.4 billion, roughly a tenth of Google’s annual revenue. The Financial Times first reported the news.
And Google is prepping a response. Re/code obtained an internal memo discussing the impending charges. Google calls the EU’s decision “very disappointing news.” To make its case, the memo includes a trio of charts, from comScore and Google internal data, showing shopping site searches in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, along with a travel search in Germany. Searches on Amazon and eBay far exceed those on Google Shopping (perhaps not helping Google’s creeping concern over Amazon’s emergence in search). Google’s missive also mentions that it is expecting the E.U. Commission for Competition to also open up an investigation into Android on Wednesday. “We have a very strong case,” the memo concludes.
Here’s the memo that went out: Read more