Ebay’s chief executive has added weight toGoogle’s antitrust defence by saying that the pairare direct competitors in online shopping, echoing theUS search group’s claim that Brussels misunderstandshow people buy products online.
John Donahoesaid in an interview with the Financial Times that barriers were breaking downbetween different areas of online commerce. The auction website chief’s comments supportarguments already made by Google in its first response to the European Commission’s landmarkcompetition case.
Brussels’ complaint, announced this month, focuses on a claim that Google has abused itsdominance of web search to squeeze out rival specialist shopping search engines by favouringits own in-house service.
Google has responded by saying that European regulators have not recognised how it is dwarfed inonline shopping by eBay and Amazon, making questions about how it handles product queries on itsown site beside the point.
Asked if eBay was a direct competitor of Google Shopping, Mr Donahoe said: “Yes . . . We area strong commerce competitor [of Google’s].”