Washington: US antitrust enforcers are examining Google’s conduct in the online shopping comparison market as they continue their probe of the search giant.
Richard Stables, chief executive officer of London-based shopping comparison site Kelkoo Group, said he spent more than an hour with Justice Department officials Friday to discuss how Alphabet Inc allegedly hurt his European-based business.
The meetings show that the Justice Department, which opened its investigation of Google with a document seeking a wide swath of information on the company, has an interest in at least one of three landmark European antitrust cases.
A Justice Department spokesman said the department has had numerous productive meetings with third parties, but declined to comment on specific discussions.
Stables said he also met with congressional staff members for lawmakers on antitrust committees in the House and Senate earlier this week.
In 2017, the European Union fined Google 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) and ordered the company to stop promoting its own shopping search results over those of competitors. Stables, who has been trying to convince the EU to toughen its remedy, outlined to the US antitrust enforcers what he said was harm to consumers stemming from Google’s practices.
Google’s practice of elevating its own services raises prices for consumers by limiting access to rival shopping comparison sites, Stables said.
Google spokesman Jose Castaneda directed reporters to a September blog post when Google Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker pledged to work with antitrust officials.