Date
26 July 2017
Companies from countries besides the US are targeted in EU probes of firms in industries other than digital media, Margrethe Vestager says. Photo: Bloomberg
Companies from countries besides the US are targeted in EU probes of firms in industries other than digital media, Margrethe Vestager says. Photo: Bloomberg

EU regulator denies anti-US bias in Apple, Google cases

Europe’s antitrust chief dismissed Friday accusations of anti-US bias over her decision to go after Google Inc. for abusing its dominance of internet search and Apple Inc. over an Irish tax deal, Reuters reported.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s robust defense of her actions came after she was criticized in the US media for a spate of cases opened over the past year against US giants such as Google, Apple, Amazon.com Inc. and Starbucks Corp.

Some critics have accused EU regulators of seeking to protect European companies from US competitors.

Vestager rejected the criticism, saying the nationality of companies played no role in her assessment.

“Yes, US companies are often involved when we investigate the digital industry. But you will also see many Japanese firms in our car-part cartel cases,” she said in the text of a speech to be delivered at the Foreign Policy Association in New York.

The European Commission is now studying Google’s response to antitrust charges of favoring its Google Shopping service over rivals. It is also investigating the company’s popular Android operating system for smartphones.

Amazon is in the EU’s crosshairs for a Luxembourg tax deal and Starbucks for a Dutch tax arrangement.

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CG/FL

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