clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Google scores an antitrust win in Canada (while those pesky European charges still loom)

The search giant nets a victory up north.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Google, the world’s largest search engine, is facing antitrust pressure in several parts of the world. But it is managing to beat back a few of these.

Up north, for example. On Tuesday, Canada’s competition bureau announced it has closed its investigation into Google for potentially exploiting its dominance in search and advertising. The agency opened the case in 2013 and, three years later, concluded that Google’s practices don’t exclude Canadian rivals. From the findings:

Although Google frequently makes changes to the algorithm it uses to rank search results, evidence obtained over the course of the investigation indicates that Google’s changes are generally made to improve user experiences.

With the ruling, Google is sidestepping any forced changes to its services that would hit its most profitable businesses. Canada’s market is small, but not insignificant.

But it’s mostly a notch for Google’s policy team. And a timely one. The European Union, which is currently fighting Google around its comparative shopping product, is expected to land its other charge — the one on Google’s practice of bundling services with Android — as early as this Wednesday. The EU is also weighing additional cases against Google for things like its ad serving.

The Canadian agency noted that it consulted with EU officials in its decision. Also, the agency included this finding about its investigation into Google search: If consumers are unhappy with their default, pre-loaded search engine, they ditch it. That’s for both desktop and mobile — an important sticking point for Google to use in its defense against the pending Android charges.

So the result pleases Google. It even said so.

“We’re pleased that the Canadian Competition Bureau has decided to end its inquiry,” Kent Walker, Google SVP and General Counsel, said in a statement. “We work hard in a competitive landscape to create a great experience for our users and help them quickly and easily find what they need from Google.”

A United Kingdom court recently dropped a case against Google for its mapping services, but the search giant still faces pending cases in India, along with rivals and government officials are trying to kickstart cases again in the U.S.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.