The European Publishers Council (EPC) today welcomes the European Commission’s Decision to issue a Statement of Objections to Google as part of the EU’s investigation into Google’s ongoing anti-competitive behaviour. In particular the EPC welcomes the commitment of EU competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to continue her investigations and will be counting on her to consider the outstanding issues of concern to the EPC.
Europe’s publishing industries are investing heavily in digital activities today, and therefore the case of Google’s virtual monopoly in search remains a major concern for the EPC. European consumers use search to get access to news, creative content and information. Search is therefore critical for many reasons other than commercial ones. It is fundamental to a free society.
EPC Chairman Christian Van Thillo said today: “Now that the case has finally reached this important stage and remedies to address Google’s abusive practices are in sight, the EPC is calling on the European Commission to restore competition in all key markets of search and search advertising and to ensure that consumers have access to fair and unbiased search results.
We hope that this will be the focus of the ongoing investigation and we expect that the EPC’s long-standing dialogue with the Commission concerning this case will continue and deepen. It is essential that Google’s arguments, and data, be thoroughly tested by European companies operating in these markets. Any proposed solutions need to be vetted by the marketplace and by consumer organisations”.
The EPC is looking forward to working with the Commission to see that this is achieved.