A PYMNTS Company

EU’s antitrust ‘war’ on Google and Facebook uses abandoned American playbook

 |  July 16, 2017

Posted by Social Science Research Network

The Conversation

The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that European antitrust regulators have declared war on American tech giants.

On June 27, the European Union imposed a €2.4 billion (US$2.75 billion) fine on Google for giving favorable treatment in its search engine results to its own comparison shopping service. And Germany’s antitrust enforcer is investigating Facebook for asking users to sign away control over personal information.

In contrast, American antitrust enforcers have shown little interest in these companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did open an investigation into whether Google has a search bias, but closed it in 2013, despite recognizing that it “may have had the effect of harming individual competitors.”

Anti-Americanism, however, does not explain these starkly different approaches. Europe targets homegrown companies with the same ferocity. Last summer, for example, the EU fined a cartel of European truck-makers even more than it did Google.

Continue Reading…