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EU tech companies accusing Google, Apple, and Facebook of unfair business practices

Spotify, Rocket Internet, Deezer, and other EU companies claim that Google and other large American companies are abusing their market positions.

Published onMay 11, 2017

The European Commission has received a number of complaints from tech companies based on the old continent regarding unfair business practices by major players in the market including Apple and Google. That’s why it has started working on a possible law that would address these issues.

European companies including Spotify, Rocket Internet, and Deezer, think that search engines and app stores owned by large American companies are abusing their market positions. They often use their power to promote their own services instead of those of the competition and impose imbalanced terms and conditions. With the new law, the European Commission wants to make things right and improve the chances of companies based in the EU of going head to head with the likes of Google, Apple, and Facebook, just to name a few.

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Spotify, for example, complained last year that Apple rejected an updated version of its popular app, which competes directly with Apple Music. There are apparently plenty more cases like this, which is why the Commission is now stepping in. It wants to come up with a solution that will establish fair practice criteria and set up a system that will help resolve disputes as quickly as possible.

The Commission started looking into the claims made by EU companies last year and did share a few of its findings with the public. It believes that platforms owned by Google and others were delisting products or services without due notice, restricting access to information, as well as not making search result rankings as transparent as they could.

As you can imagine, US companies aren’t very happy with the Commission’s initiative. EDiMA, the trade association representing online platforms including Google and Facebook, among others, said that it is both disappointed and astounded. There are also a lot of businesses that support the initiative, especially those in the music industry, which claim that unfair online trading practices have become too common in recent years.

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