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Is Google Nobbling Competitors? Government Shopping Probe In Progress

As the Federal Government begins to clamp down on the likes of Google, the US Justice Department is also ramping up its efforts to examine its shopping comparison tool.

According to Bloomberg, the US Justice Department is ramping up its examination efforts into the company’s shopping comparison tool over anti-competitive concerns.

US Anti-Trust lawyers have opened preliminary investigations into whether the Alphabet-owned company is deliberately hurting competitors.

It comes after Richard Stables, chief executive officer of rival e-commerce marketing platform Kelkoo Group a European Company spent more than an hour with Justice Dept. officials in the US.

Kelkoo Group is reportedly ‘trusted’ by 31,000 merchants, across 22 countries with 40 million online shoppers per month.

Curiously enough, in one of Kelkoo’s December blog posts, they promote Google’s Local Inventory Ads (LIA) that allow retailers to promote in-store inventory online.

In a separate post from September, Kelkoo goes as far as to call ‘Google Shopping Ads, the most important source of traffic and sales generation in today’s online marketing mix’.

It follows the landmark anti-trust case brought against Google by the European Union, which required the company to pay US$2.8 billion in fines for promoting its search results over competitors.

Stables is hoping to raise the alarm in the US claiming Google could ‘squash’ Stateside firms.

Google has publicly noted its willingness to cooperate with lawmakers, saying that ‘all successful companies, including ours, are complying with the law’.

‘We have always worked constructively with regulators, and we will continue to do so,’ said Google’s SVP of Global Affairs, Kent Walker in a blog post in September this year. 

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