Google Gains More Time to Argue With EU Over Antitrust Complaint

Google Inc. gained an extra six weeks to prepare its response to the European Union’s antitrust complaint accusing the Internet giant of abusing its dominance of the search-engine market.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority, granted Google’s request for a delay and gave it until Aug. 17 to respond to the so-called statement of objections sent in April. Google originally had until July 7 to reply after regulators said it unfairly favored its own comparison shopping service above rivals since 2008.

“We have asked the European Commission for additional time to review the documents they’ve provided us,” Google’s Brussels-based spokesman Al Verney said in an e-mailed statement Monday.

The EU’s patience with Google ran out after three settlement bids failed to satisfy critics, who said the owner of the world’s most-used search engine was wielding its power over search results to unfairly promote its own services and paid ads. The EU has been probing allegations since 2010 that Google’s search page isn’t fair when people seek services online.

“Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file,” commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an e-mail. “The commission analyzed the reasons for the request and granted an extension allowing Google to fully exercise its rights of defense.”

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