Google share price: EU reopens investigation into search in Europe

on Sep 9, 2014
Updated: Feb 27, 2024
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iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, September 9: European Union antitrust regulators are seeking additional concessions from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in their long-running probe into the company’s search practices in Europe.

According to the EU’s competition chief Joaquin Almunia, the European Commission has received “very, very negative” feedback from interested parties, including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), to a proposed EU settlement with Google announced in February (). The concessions the company agreed to back then helped it avoid potential fines, but with the investigation now re-opened, the possibility of financial penalties again arises.

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In today’s trading so far, Google shares have eased 0.8 percent lower to be at 596.99, shortly after the opening bell in New York.
**Negative feedback**
Under a settlement designed to address complaints that Google had been abusing its position as the dominant search engine in Europe, the company agreed to certain concessions, such as allowing advertisers to move their search advertising campaigns to rival platforms.

“No antitrust authority in the world has obtained such concessions,” Almunia said at the time.
But the settlement was criticised by government ministers in France and Germany as well as other EC commissioners. In the result, over the summer a coalition of publishers and other interested parties lobbied the commission, and particularly Almunia, to reopen the negotiations.

In an interview on Bloomberg TV on September 6, Almunia explained the reasons behind the decision to acquiesce in those demands: “Some complainants have introduced new arguments, new data, new considerations. We now need to analyze this and see if we can find solutions, Google can find solutions, to some of these concerns that we find justified.”

The EC has also received complaints regarding Google’s mobile operating system Android. DGIV, the commission’s antitrust division, will “probably” open a formal investigation into the matter if it doesn’t receive “adequate” answers from the company to those complaints, Almunia told Bloomberg.
A Google spokesperson said: “We continue to work with the EC to resolve the concerns they have raised.”
**Analysts on Google**
According to CNNMoney, the 42 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Google Inc have a median target of $670.00, with a high estimate of $750.00 and a low of $570.00. The current consensus among 47 polled investment analysts is to buy shares in the company, the website notes.
**As of 15:29 BST buy Google shares at $594.59**
**As of 15:29 BST sell Google shares at $594.46**

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