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EU gives Google more time to respond to anti-trust claims

Deadline to put together a response to claims it favours its own shopping service in search results extended to August

Gavel

The EU has given Google more time to respond to anti-trust claims after an investigation revealed it was favouring its own Google Shopping results rather than ranking other shopping services in results.

The news comes after Google requested the EU give it more time to review documents in the case file, which has so far been running for five years. This time, Google will have until 17 August to respond, despite having previously been told they would have until 7 July.

"In line with normal practice, the Commission analysed the reasons for the request and granted an extension allowing Google to fully exercise its rights of defence," the European Commission said.

Back in April, EU regulators gave Google ten weeks to respond to the claims, but that period ended last week. According to the EU's  antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, Google hadn't immediately received access to the files they requested, so it is likely the time frame may be extended again.

If it turns out Google does present its own Google Shopping results above other companies, it would be forced to pay a fine based upon the company's AdWords revenues generated from users in Europe, gross turnover from its comparison shopping service and the money made from Google searches. Estimates suggest this could be to the tune of 4.4bn.

Michael Weber, owner of Hot-Map.com first brought the issue to the EU's attention after he saw traffic arriving to his site reduce by 80 per cent.

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