U.S. Chamber Raises Questions Over EU Antitrust Decision

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 5:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant issued the following statement today following the European Commission’s decision against Google for violating European Union antitrust laws:

“Some may suggest that today’s decision is an attempt to target an American company, however, the European Union’s antitrust laws concerning abuse of dominance have always been different than the standard found in U.S. law.  In our minds the decision raises questions on other fronts.

“This investigation has been seven years in the making. No company should face such a tortured process. The eye-popping fine of $2.7 billion is the largest in antitrust history. Together, these facts raise serious questions: If the case against Google really supported a record fine, surely the European Commission could have reached its conclusion long ago.

“Perhaps most importantly, the conduct remedy could put Google at risk of perpetually violating the European Commission's order. At present, it’s not at all clear how far Google must go to satisfy the Commission’s order. A company should not be constantly looking over its shoulder to gauge how to comply with the law.

“Finally, the Commission has sent a signal that it is prepared to judge algorithms using methods that lack transparency — and do so on the basis of concerns about competition despite the procompetitive influence of big data. If heavy-handed approaches to big data are taken as a matter of competition enforcement, innovation will be threatened.  After all, innovation is the very thing all companies rely on to compete.” 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.