House of Lords select committee questions Google over attitude towards competition

Hayley Kirton
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Representatives answered questions about Google's approach to competition (Source: Getty)

Representatives from Google were questioned today by a House of Lords select committee, including about whether the technology giant’s search engine market prominence gave it an unfair level of control over the access of online content.

Adam Cohen, head of competition and economy policy for EMEA at Google, and Jon Steinberg, external relations manager, EMEA, were giving evidence as part of the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee’s inquiry into online platforms.

Cohen highlighted feedback received from those in the newspaper industry, who had cited Google as their major traffic source a few years ago but now reported receiving a much stronger flow of readers from websites like Facebook.

The European Commission opened an investigation into Google in 2010 on allegations that it had been abusing its dominant market position in online search.

When asked if he thought competition laws and procedures were sufficient to handle such cases, Cohen responded: “Some of the issues involving our business are very complicated,” but added that he thought the relevant authorities were well-equipped to look into his company.

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