Although Google’s European shopping rivals are continuing to complain about how Google is working, The European Commission chief said that the changes Google has made so far seem to be working. European Competition Commissioner Margethe Vestager is quoted by Reuters saying that rivals have a greater visibility in search results and there are more clicks that send searchers to their sites.
Although Vestager said that “It’s still too early to draw conclusions,” she observed:
We know from our monitoring there’s been a steady increase in the numbers over the last few months. The most recent figures show at least one rival appears in about one-third of new shopping boxes as compared to 15 percent of the shopping boxes back in March . . . Similarly the share of clicks of products of rivals in Google shopping boxes also increased from 2.5 percent in February to 6.1 percent now.
The changes made to Google Shopping came in the wake of a €2.4 billion ($2.8 billion) penalty, which Google is appealing. It was previously suggested by Google that the performance of its shopping search rivals is partly a product of poor user experiences on some of the sites.
The statement that Commissioner Vestager made to the European Parliement in support of the search engine was a rare thing. The entire time the Google issues have been around, she has been persistently critical of Google and its market position since taking office. But, it’s possible that Vestegar won’t be reappointed to a second term in 2019, due to Danish internal politics.