"Our current investigations involving Google are among the most discussed in the media. The sheer amount of data controlled by Google gives rise to a series of societal challenges. Privacy is one of the most pressing concerns. Media pluralism is another. Not all of these challenges are primarily economic in nature and not all of them are competition related. So many of the Google related concerns voiced in the public debate cannot be addressed in our investigations into the company’s alleged anti-competitive practices. We will have to limit ourselves to what we identify as competition problems.
I have been following these investigations very closely already since before I was tapped as Commissioner for Competition. They concern very important questions. Questions about access to markets that are of vital interest to many players, big and small alike, and that have a significant impact on consumers.
To decide how to take our investigations forward, I need to know what those most directly affected by the practices in question have to say. I need to have a representative sample of views of those concerned. Also, we are talking about fast moving markets – I have to be sure that we have all the facts up to date to get it right. In short, the issues at stake in our investigations have a big potential impact on many players, they are multifaceted and complex. I will therefore need some time to decide on the next steps."