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Google complying with EU order in shopping case, says EU’s Vestager

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There are indications that Google is complying with an EU order to boost competition in online shopping, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Wednesday, brushing aside complaints from rivals demanding more regulatory action.

Google, hit with a 2.4-billion-euro (2.7 billion dollars) fine two years ago for unfairly promoting its own comparison shopping service, has since offered to allow competitors to bid for advertising space at the top of a search page.

According to report, this has however given them the chance to compete on equal terms.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the measure appeared to be working.

“Now we are in a situation where in 75 per cent of queries there would be at least one rival to Google in the shopping box,” Vestager told newsmen on the sidelines of a Centre for European Reform event.

According to her, 40 per cent of clicks would go to a merchant hosted by one of the rivals.

“This means we do not have a non-compliance case but at the same time also means that we keep monitoring monthly developments,” she added.

Open Internet Project, a Google critic, however argued that the situation has not improved.

“By putting these Google-powered Shopping Units at the top of every relevant results page, Google continues to reserve the important market for comparison shopping services to itself,” Open Internet Project said in a statement.

Reuters/NAN

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