British price comparison site Kelkoo is willing to take its criticism about Google to US antitrust regulators because EU attempts to guarantee a level playing field are insufficient, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Kelkoo and its peers are at loggerheads with Alphabet unit Google for years, accusing the company of promoting its own comparison shopping service in their expense.
Google, stung by a EUR 2.4-billion ($2.7 billion) EU antitrust fine two years ago, subsequently allowed rivals to bid for advertising space on top of its search webpages in an attempt to boost competition and stave off additional fines.
But, Kelkoo’s CEO Richard Stables told Reuters that Kelkoo is still not able to compete on equal terms because of Google’s prominent placement of product listing ads (PLA) that favours the provider instead of comparison list advertisements (CLA).
“She (Vestager) has obtained the remedy incorrect. Google’s current compliance mechanism is failing the shopping market. Google is restricting visibility to users so as to keep on benefiting from the PLA abuse,” Stables said in an interview with Reuters.
US antitrust enforcers have been contacted by kelkoo in an attempt to discover a solution.
“We talked to the Federal Trade Commission four weeks ago.
The US Department of Justice is preparing a separate investigation of Google to ascertain whether it broke antitrust law in operating its sprawling online businesses, two sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
The FTC previously probed Google in an investigation that ended in 2013 with the company implementing minor changes.
The Commission and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.