European FlagThe European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, accused Google of distorting Internet search results and began an antitrust investigation into its Android mobile operating system.

Margrethe Vestager accused Google of using its dominance as a search engine to “artificially” skew results that favor its own shopping service, to the detriment of rivals. “Dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition either in the market where they are dominant or in neighboring markets.”

She also announced that investigations would continue in other areas, including accusations that Google improperly uses its rivals’ content and locks out advertising competition with exclusivity deals. And she opened a formal investigation related to the company’s Android operating system for cellphones.

It is the first time that antitrust charges have been brought against Google, and the action raises pressure on the company to address complaints that a previous European commissioner allowed to play out for five years without resolution.

Most likely by the time this case will be settled, technology will have moved on and the whole EU effort may turn out to be a colossal waste of energy.

Source:  NY Times