EU's Vestager to meet Google complainants in coming weeks

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2014 7:34 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's antitrust chief will meet Google's critics in the coming weeks in an effort to resolve issues in a four-year investigation which has stirred up politicians and lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she wanted new information on the case. Her predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, rejected three attempts by the world's most popular Internet search engine to settle the case without a fine.

"It is important to get new information in the file and we have sent questionnaires to a number of people in a number of areas. I will meet with complainants within the next couple of weeks," Vestager told a news conference on Thursday.

Complainants such as Microsoft, German mapping service Hotmaps, U.S. online travel sites Expedia and TripAdvisor and publishers across Europe have accused Google of abusing its dominance.

An overwhelming majority of lawmakers at the European Parliament last month approved a non-binding resolution to break up Google. The United States said it was concerned about the politicization of the case.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by David Evans)