Google is going to, according to Bloomberg, create a separate business unit that will manage shopping content in search results to comply with European Commission’s recent antitrust decision. Reportedly, this unit will be required to compete the auction against shopping competitors.
It seems that the unit will use its own budget and revenues to bid in the auction and will only exist in the EU. Shopping search will continue as in the other markets, including the US.
Earlier, Reuters had reported that Google was gong to “display rival shopping comparison sites via an auction.” This seems to be similar to the earlier “rival links” proposal that failed to settle the antitrust dispute before the formal complaint was filed in 2015.
Due to abuse of market position in shopping search, Google was fined roughly $2.7 billion (€2.4 billion). This was the largest antitrust penalty and fine in EU history. Before this one, the previous record was $1.3 billion against Intel. As part of the decision, Google is compelled o offer a remedy, even as it appeals that decision. If Google failed to comply, the company would be subjected to daily financial penalties.
According to the Bloomberg article, it was suggested that the new business unit concept is an updated proposal vs. the earlier Reuters report. It’s possible that that there was incomplete or inaccurately described information describing the Google proposal by Reuters.
This is what the shopping search results currently look like in France:
The Bloomberg report says that the new configuration will feature 10 slots that would be made available through the auction. Each result would display the name of the shopping site offerig teh product, and then linking them to those websites.
You can see some potential presentations of Google Shopping results on the s360 blog and below:
Any items found on the Google Shopping results will be branded “by Google,” and those from other sites will be labeled accordingly.