EMMA, ENPA and OIP to host event to open a public discussion on fair competition in Europe

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Brussels, 2 September 2014 -- The European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), together with the European Newspaper Publishers' Association(ENPA) and the Open Internet Project (OIP) are hosting an event on 10 September in Brussels aimed to promote a public discussion about the need to enforce antitrust regulation and consumer protection in Europe. The event, titled "Internet and Neutral Search: Safeguarding fair competition to the benefit of consumers and businesses in Europe," will bring together online publishers, digital entrepreneurs, consumer organisations, and policy makers.

The European digital economy suffers from a far-reaching disorder that requires a broader debate by the European Institutions: The abuse of power by a market dominant player.

Today, Google operates a quasi-monopolistic search engine as well as a growing number of commercial services in adjacent markets. This conflict of interest leads Google to systematically manipulate ranking criteria in order to divert users to Google’s own offerings – misleading consumers and discriminating against rivals in organic as well as in sponsored, vertical search.

Since 2010, complainants from many EU countries have formally presented the case before the European Commission. The list of complainants includes small and medium-sized companies across the EU as well as BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation representing the interests of millions of European consumers.

During the past years, the European Commission undertook important steps to see through this complex matter and opened an investigation. In response, Google has proposed a settlement, but absurdly this only reinforces its market dominance and would cause more harm than good.

European Institutions have to decide how to deal with this important matter. What should be done and how should politics react?

Keynote speakers include Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC; Olivier Sichel, Chairman and CEO of Le Guide; and Robert M. Maier, Founder and CEO of Visual Meta GmbH.

To register for this event, please send an e-mail to policy@brusselsevent.net.