EU Crackdown Hasn’t Made U.S. Tech Change Its Behavior

A pattern is emerging in the war between the European Union’s antitrust authorities and U.S. tech companies. The changes that Google and Apple made after adverse rulings and large fines appear to be little but window-dressing, and left intact the problems the penalties were intended to solve.

In June 2017, the European Commission fined Google 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for giving priority to its price comparison service, Google Shopping, over rival services in search results. The company put in place a remedy in September of that year: All services can bid on spaces in a special box that appears on the search result page when consumers type in an item they would like to buy; Google Shopping is supposed to bid like any other company. Yet it’s almost always the only offering in the box.

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