Communications, Corruption, Foreign Affairs, Issues

Google could face record antitrust fine in Europe after skating by in U.S.

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Part Two of a series entitled The Google Administration

Google could be slapped with a record 3 billion euro fine (about $3.4 billion) from the European Commission in an antitrust case that has dragged on since 2010.

The company is accused of promoting its shopping service over rival services in internet searches on its website .

Google faced a similar case in the United States, when the Federal Trade Commission began looking into the company’s search-engine practices in 2011. The company reached a settlement with the FTC in 2013 that allowed competitors access to patents on critical standardized technologies needed for a variety of devices such as phones and laptops, but the FTC didn’t find that Google gamed the search-engine system.

Watchdog.org reported Monday that the Obama administration has extended an open door to Google, with company officials visiting the White House at least 427 times since Obama took office in January 2009. The data comes from Google Transparency Project, the work of Campaign for Accountability.

As part of its regular visits to the White House, Google held several meetings that could have been related to the FTC case.

For example, on April 17, 2012, Google’s top lobbyist Johanna Shelton, product management director Hunter Walk and Raben Group lobbyist Courtney Snowden met with White House domestic policy counsel Steve Robinson. Google retained Raben Group in July 2011 to assist with the FTC case.

On Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, 2012, Shelton and Google competition counsel Matthew Bye met with Office of Science and Technology Policy senior internet adviser David Edelman. Prior to joining Google, Bye advised on antitrust matters at the FTC general counsel’s office.

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This is a guest post by Johnny Kampis a content editor and staff writer at Watchdog.org.

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