ABUSE OF GATEKEEPER POWER: Publishers strongly support vertical search industry's call to action
ABUSE OF GATEKEEPER POWER:
PUBLISHERS STRONGLY SUPPORT VERTICAL SEARCH INDUSTRY’S CALL TO ACTION
Joint News Release of EMMA, ENPA and EPC
Brussels, 12 November 2020: Europe’s press publishers, represented by the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), and the European Publishers’ Council (EPC), strongly support today’s call of 135 tech companies and 30 industry associations for immediate actions of the European Commission against Google’s self-preferencing practices which are harming competition and consumer choice.
In their joint letter, the 165 signatories call upon Executive Vice-President and EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to ensure Google’s compliance with the European Commission’s 2017 Google Search (Shopping) abuse of dominance decision. In addition to enforcing such precedent, the companies and associations urge the Commission to take all necessary measures to stop the favouring of other Google services and their technical integration into Google’s general search service as such practices reduce competition and deprive consumers of more relevant offerings.
Since the Commission adopted its Shopping decision more than three years ago, it has neither engaged in the enforcement of the remedy imposed, nor in any meaningful execution on similar abuses of dominance. While the blatant non-compliance of Google’s chosen remedy remains unaddressed, other ongoing investigations into the favouring of numerous of Google’s specialised search services (such as Google’s search services for jobs, flights, hotels and other accommodation, local information, etc.) have not been pursued actively either.
EMMA, ENPA and EPC have long called for a stronger regulation of digital gatekeepers, including Google.
Ilias Konteas, Executive Director of EMMA and ENPA, said: “Google continues to abuse its unassailable search monopoly to enter new markets with the very same practices that it has employed for more than a decade now. This needs to end now. We strongly support the Commission’s plans to regulate digital gatekeepers more rigorously. However, the quickest, most natural and most effective solution to the fundamental issue of Google’s self-preferencing is a rigorous enforcement of the equal treatment remedy that was already imposed in the competition decision of 2017.”
Angela Mills Wade, EPC Executive Director, said: "The lack of enforcement allows Google to entrench further its unfair advantages from self-preferencing in more and more markets, stifling competition and consumer choice. Every day of this wait-and-see game makes it less likely that the anti-competitive effects of Google’s conduct can ever be undone with untold damage to the many European marketplaces and comparison sites which are demoted by Google in favour of their own products.”
You may find the Press Publishers joint press release and the wider coalition letter, available in English, French and German, below.