The European Union is looking into whether Google's (GOOGL) - Get Report search service unfairly favors its own job search tool, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced in a speech on Tuesday.
The accusation would be similar to previous EU claims that Google's shopping comparison service gave preference to its own listings, leading the EU to fine Google $2.7 billion for anti-competitive behavior in 2017.
Vestager said in her speech that the EU was talking the problem of "self-preferencing," noting that "many platform businesses act as both player and referee -- they run a platform, and also compete with other companies that rely on that platform. There's an obvious conflict of interest here, an obvious temptation to adjust the way the platform works, to favor their own services ahead of others."
Vestager gave the Google shopping comparison issue as an example, and then stated that "we're looking right now at whether the same thing may have happened with other parts of Google's business -- like the job search business known as Google for Jobs."
On Aug. 13, 23 European job search websites sent a letter to Vestager accusing Google of unfairly promoting Google for Jobs in its general search results.
The EU is currently undertaking a preliminary investigation into Google for Jobs, which could eventually result in a formal antitrust probe.
Alphabet shares were down 0.45% to 1,162.61 on Wednesday morning and are up 12% year to date.
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