Mountain View, Calif. — The total number of antitrust complaints against Google currently being investigated by the European Union is now up to nine, according to two sources cited by Reuters today.
Although the European Commission, which acts on behalf of the EU, has only confirmed four cases, the additional complaints could signal heavier pressure on the world’s leading search engine to reach a settlement.
One source told Reuters that the new complaints come from smaller companies, while the second source claims three cases are from national regulators and the other two are “fresh complaints.”
“Google’s strong position means there are lots of interests involved. But there is nothing wrong per se in having a strong position,” said Simon Holmes, head of EU and competition law at law firm SJ Berwin. “The mere proliferation of complaints doesn’t increase the likelihood of infringements. It means there are issues certain parties want to be investigated.”
The EU first opened an investigation on Google in November 2010 following three companies’ allegations that Google demoted their sites’ popularity and ranking because the companies were rivals, Reuters reported.
If found guilty the Commission can fine Google up to 10 percent of its total global turnover for breaching EU policies and rules.