Canada competition bureau clears Google of wrongdoing

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Canada competition bureau clears Google of wrongdoing

Ottawa (AFP) – Canada’s competition watchdog announced Tuesday it was closing its investigation into allegations Google abused its dominance in online search advertising to keep rivals down.

The move comes as the EU is set to unveil formal antitrust charges against the US-based tech giant over how it markets its Android mobile phone operating system, while it continues to investigate shopping services on Google’s search engine.

In Canada, the Competition Bureau said it had found evidence to support one of the allegations against the company: that it used “anti-competitive clauses” in certain contracts that effectively excluded its competitors.

But it said Google corrected those problems in 2013 after US authorities raised similar concerns.

Other accusations — including the manipulation of search results to highlight Google-related links over others and preferential treatment for its other services — were dismissed due to a lack of evidence, the Competition Bureau said.

The bureau noted that it would “closely follow developments with respect to Google’s ongoing conduct, including the results from investigations of our international counterparts.”

“We will continue to monitor firms in the digital economy to ensure they do not engage in anti-competitive conduct,” said Competition Commissioner John Pecman.

“Should new evidence come to light of anti-competitive conduct that may affect the Canadian marketplace, by Google or any other market participant, I won’t hesitate to take appropriate action.”

The Competition Bureau will “closely follow developments with respect to Google’s ongoing conduct, including the results from investigations of our international counterparts”
Copyright AFP/File Karen Bleir

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