After giving the impression of not wanting to enter into direct conflict with the American group Google, the European antitrust regulator could move the lines in the coming weeks and be more virulent, says the Wall street journal.
Specifically, the regulator should publish its grievances against Google and the European Commission would have asked the companies having filed requests against the American giant for unfair competition to be able to publish certain elements hitherto confidential.
This initiative could be the starting point of a sanction pronounced against Google which could take the proportions of the salted fine that had to pay another American group, Microsoft, at the end of a procedure launched ten years previously.
He is accused of abusing his dominant position in web search on the European market (over 90%) and use it to weaken rivals by various means. If one amicable negotiation remains possible, the Wall street journal notes that the European Commissioner responsible for competition matters, Margrethe Vestager, seems to favor the framework of a formal sanction rather than a negotiated solution, the application of which can always be partly avoided.
The revelation of an amicable agreement between Google and the FTC American company which has spared sanctions despite proven anti-competitive practices perhaps intervenes here as a warning about the danger of letting multinationals escape sanctions even when they are at fault.
After publication of the grievances, Google will have three months to respond to them either by refuting the charges or by proposing relevant remedies. According to the group's replies, the European Commission may have to impose a financial penalty on it, which can go as far as 10% of its annual turnover, estimated at 66 billion dollars.