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ALPHABET INC.

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Alphabet : Study says Google market power has grown despite EU order to play fair

09/28/2020 | 02:45pm EST
FILE PHOTO: Logo of Google is seen at an office building in Zurich

U.S. tech giant Alphabet Inc's Google has boosted its market power in the three years since EU antitrust enforcers ordered it to stop favouring its own price comparison shopping service, a study of 25 of its rivals showed on Monday.

Hit with a 2.4-billion-euro (£2.18 billion) fine three years ago by the European Commission for the offence, Google subsequently offered to allow competitors to bid for advertising space at the top of a search page to channel traffic to their sites.

Rivals however have said the proposal was ineffective and since then have urged EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager to sanction Google for not complying with her ruling.

The latest study by consultancy Lademann & Associates covered Axel Springer's price-comparison shopping service Idealo, British company Kelkoo, France's LeGuide and others in 21 European countries.

"It (Google's proposal) has further strengthened Google's position on the national markets for comparison shopping services and has entrenched its dominance in general search," said Thomas Hoppner, author of the study and adviser to several Google foes.

"This is not because the Commission imposed the wrong remedy. It is because Google's chosen compliance mechanism fails to comply with the remedy imposed," he said.

Hoppner called the Commission to either force Google to come up with a more effective solution or warn the company for breaching its order.

The Commission said it was monitoring the market to assess the effectiveness of Google's proposal.

Google said the figures in the study ignore the facts and the Commission's reasoning in its decision.

"The remedy has worked successfully for three years, generating billions of clicks for more than 600 comparison shopping services, and is subject to intensive monitoring," a spokeswoman said.

By Foo Yun Chee


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. 1.30% 1787.02 Delayed Quote.33.42%
AXEL SPRINGER SE 7.84% 55 End-of-day quote.-12.42%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 179 B - -
Net income 2020 35 705 M - -
Net cash 2020 118 B - -
P/E ratio 2020 35,0x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 1 211 B 1 211 B -
EV / Sales 2020 6,12x
EV / Sales 2021 5,00x
Nbr of Employees 132 121
Free-Float 90,3%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 47
Average target price 1 884,54 $
Last Close Price 1 787,02 $
Spread / Highest target 25,9%
Spread / Average Target 5,46%
Spread / Lowest Target -30,8%
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Managers
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Sundar Pichai Chief Executive Officer & Director
John LeRoy Hennessy Chairman
Ruth M. Porat Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Lawrence E. Page Director
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin Director
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