Business leader: Google dominates search. But the real problem is its monopoly on data

The European commission’s inquiry into Google’s search monopoly is often compared to the antitrust investigation of Microsoft. That case eventually took 16 years and resulted in what was at the time the largest fine imposed by Brussels, in the end costing Microsoft €1.64bn.At the outset, Microsoft underestimated the power and effectiveness of the EU. And back then it was a company at the peak of its corporate power, staffed by sleek, smart and seemingly invincible executives – of the type that now walk the corridors of Google.Where Microsoft was picked up over the dominance of its operating system and browser, Google is facing investigations on multiple fronts. Last week its tussle with Brussels began in earnest when it was formally accused of distorting search results to favour its own services – specifically shopping.

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