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The EU just shot down Google’s main argument that it’s not abusing its search power

Also, a third charge sheet comes — on ads.

Brussels Airport And Metro Rocked By Explosions Carl Court / Getty

Europe’s competition authority took two more swings at Google on Thursday, furthering the search giant’s incessant antitrust troubles there.

The headline news is the addition of a third charge sheet against Google for market dominance, adding to existing cases around its comparison shopping service and Android. This new one is about ads — namely the search ads Google runs on other sites that use its search bar. It’s not a surprise.

But along with the ads broadside, the European Union also deflected a primary argument Google has used to combat the charges against its shopping service.

That case, made official in 2015 after simmering for years, accuses Google of favoring its own services in its e-commerce product. Google’s defense has been that big merchants, like Amazon and eBay, compete directly with comparison shopping services — and that those merchants are dominating Google in e-commerce.

Not so, says the EU. In its new “supplemental” charge sheet out today — additional evidence in its seesaw case — the regulators reiterate that they view Amazon and eBay operating in a separate market. Oh, and:

In any event, today's supplementary Statement of Objections finds that even if merchant platforms are included in the market affected by Google's practices, comparison shopping services are a significant part of that market and Google's conduct has weakened or even marginalised competition from its closest rivals.

The EU is giving Google eight weeks to respond to this new shopping salvo and ten weeks to response to the ads charges. Going by recent history, those deadlines will probably be pushed back.

Google isn’t commenting beyond this pair of tweets.

This article originally appeared on

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