Google Pledges Cooperation With EU Antitrust Probe


Google on Tuesday said it will cooperate with the European Commission's investigation into how it uses its search engine platform to promote its own services.

EU regulators are examining Google's practices for potential antitrust violations, following allegations that Google leverages its position as the dominant search engine to put other Google services in front of users.

"Today, the European Commission has announced that they will continue to review complaints about Google's search and search advertising," wrote Google's Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president, project management and Udi Manber, vice president, engineering, on Google's Public Policy Blog and European Public Policy Blog. "We respect their process and will continue to work closely with the Commission to answer their questions."

The EU's investigation follows complaints received by the Commission earlier this year from search engine and price compare service companies based in France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The companies allege that Google gives its own services preferential placement and marginalizes their ability to appear favorably in search rankings.

In the blog post, Google's Wojcicki and Manber don't directly respond to the allegations, but instead list the guiding principles for Google's search business, including answering user queries as quickly and accurately as possible, being clear when Google has paid for promoting products or services, and being as "transparent as possible." User satisfaction, Wojcicki and Manber wrote, is priority one.

"It may seem obvious, but people sometimes forget this -- not every website can come out on top, or even appear on the first page of our results, so there will almost always be website owners who are unhappy about their rankings," wrote the executives. "The most important thing is that we satisfy our users."

The only constant, Wojcicki and Manber added, is change.

"We cannot predict where search and online advertising will be headed, but we know sure sure that they won't stay the same," read the blog post. "By staying focused on innovation we can continue to make search even better -- for the benefit of users everywhere."