European Union Accuses Google of Cheating

June 9, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. accusation /ˌæk yʊˈzeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a charge or a claim that a person or company did something wrong
Example: The investigators will question him about the accusation.

2. antitrust / ˌæntaɪˈtrʌst / (adj.) – intended to control or regulate business practices that are not fair or those that limit competition
Example: The company has violated antitrust laws.

3. alleged / əˈlɛdʒd / (adj.) – accused of doing something wrong
Example: The alleged criminal will be on trial tomorrow.

4. consequence / ˈkɒn sɪˌkwɛns / (n.) – the result of something that was done earlier
Example: There will be consequences if the company is found guilty.

5. memo / ˈmɛm oʊ / (n.) – an official note or message passed on to another person or group
Example: The CEO has issued a memo regarding the allegations.


Read the text below.
Google Inc. faces accusations of taking advantage of its dominance as the largest search engine company worldwide.

The European Union (EU) accuses Google of deceiving its consumers and competitors by prioritizing its own products in its search results. The EU also started an antitrust investigation against Android, an operating system developed by Google. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager [mar-GREE-thuh ves-TEY-ger] confirmed that Google has already received a Statement of Objections or an official charge sheet regarding the matter.

The accusations against Google focus on four main areas. First is Google’s alleged bias to its search results. The second area focuses on Google using content from its rival websites without permission. The third one is about the company’s partnership with advertisers to exclude rival providers of search-advertising services. Lastly, the fourth area focuses on Google contracts that prevent software developers from using other platforms.

The company has 10 weeks to respond to these accusations. Google can also call for a formal hearing so it can argue its case and present its defense to the said accusations.

In response to the allegations, Google General Counsel Kent Walker released an internal memo to all Google employees. The memo, obtained by the news website TechCrunch, states that Google has a strong case and good arguments against the accusations from the EU.

According to Vestager, Google will face legal consequences and will need to change the business model it uses in Europe if the accusations are proven to be true. Aside from that, the company will also be required to pay a fine that may reach billions of pounds.  

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think about the EU’s accusation against Google?
·         How do you think will the accusations affect Google’s sales?

Discussion B

·         What is the importance of integrity in a business?
·         How can a company show its integrity?

June 9, 2015