Canada’s Competition Bureau Drops Google Investigation


While the EU has brought charges against Google accusing the search giant of abusing its position in the Android market, Canada’s Competition Bureau has dropped its Google investigation. While the EU charges focus on Google’s position in the Android market, Canada’s investigation focused on “allegations that Google engaged in anti-competitive business practices related to online search, search advertising and display advertising services in Canada.”

The inquiry began back in 2013, and focused on search and search advertising including Google’s AdWords program, as well as display advertising. After reviewing both these areas, the Commissioner of Competition found that Google did indeed use anti-competitive clauses in its AdWords API Terms and Conditions, but did not find any evidence of anti-competitive practices in other avenues of its search business. Some of the other allegations included search manipulation, preferential treatment of Google services, distribute agreements, as well as complaints that Google engaged in conduct to exclude rivals such as competing ad exchanges.

So if the Competition Bureau found Google did use anti-competitive clauses, why did they drop the investigation? Simply put, Google has removed these clauses from their Terms & Conditions for AdWords and has satisfied the Commissioner.

Google has removed these clauses and has provided a commitment to the Commissioner not to reintroduce them (or others which have the same effect) for a period of five years. […] However, the Bureau will be closely following developments with respect to Google’s ongoing conduct, including the results from investigations of our international counterparts. More generally, the Bureau will continue actively monitoring the digital marketplace given its importance to innovation and the economy. As stated in the Bureau’s 2015‑2018 Strategic Vision, the Bureau will deter or prevent anti‑competitive conduct hindering the emergence of innovation. The Bureau will not hesitate to take appropriate action should new evidence come to light of anti‑competitive conduct by Google that may affect the Canadian marketplace.

It’s quite a lengthy read, if you’re interested in reading more about the investigation and review that took place hit up the link below. Let us know what you think about Canada’s Competition Bureau’s decision to drop the investigation against Google in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Competition Bureau of Canada
To Top