Canada's competition watchdog challenges Google's search dominance

Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:09pm EST
 
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By Alastair Sharp and Euan Rocha

TORONTO Dec 16 (Reuters) - Canada's Competition Bureau has filed a legal motion against Google Inc alleging that the company is abusing its dominant position in online search, joining U.S. and European anti-trust authorities in challenging the practices of the web giant.

The bureau commissioner, in a federal court filing dated Dec. 11., is seeking an order requiring Google hand over information about its business practices, including contracts.

A spokeswoman for the Competition Bureau said the decision to seek the order was based on the fact that Google has, or is likely to have, information relevant to the bureau's probe of the company's practices.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The scope of the Canadian investigation is similar to those being conducted in the United States, European Union and elsewhere.

The bureau said it has reason to believe Google has, since at least 2005, engaged in anti-competitive behavior. That includes signing exclusive deals with mobile operating system developers, web publishers and web browser developers, and giving preference to its own services, such as Google News, over its competitors' content.

It also said Google has in the past restricted the use of data from its AdWords program to licensees.

In addition to its search engine, the web giant also owns the Android mobile operating system, handset maker Motorola and the Chrome web browser.   Continued...