Market Overview

Analyst On Google: EU Says 'Do Not Pass GO, Do Not Collect $200'


The European Union on Wednesday field formal antitrust charges against Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL).

In a report issued Thursday, analysts at Macquarie evaluate the impact of the event, saying, “while only one of the four primary concerns raised by the EC was addressed by the Statement of Objections” filed Wednesday the Comparison Shopping issue was the most dangerous for Google in terms of potential remedies for the company.

The firm added that, “competitors were pushing for publication of algorithm details or submitting algorithm revisions to a third-party monitor.” However, the EC decided to pursue a lighter remedy, which leaves the algorithm immaculate. “This is far from the worst-case scenario, and at most will require GOOG to make changes in the orientation of results on the SERP,” but will likely impact very little on the company’s business practices, the report explained.

Related Link: Google Responds To European Union Investigation Over Antitrust Laws

The analysts highlight four key points in this issue:

  • The current charges only cover one of the four issues the EC was investigating: Comparison Shopping services. Other investigations, like the one that looks into Android OS, are still going on.
  • The remedies proposed do not include publication or alteration of Google’s algorithm. Most likely, the EC will pursue minor changes to listings on SERP.
  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) faced a similar case in the past. History suggests that the EC charges will take years to play out.
  • “New EC investigation on GOOG app bundling within Android. This might be harder to establish, given AAPL’s position in the market.”

Macquarie reiterates an Outperform rating and a $570 price target on shares of Google.

Latest Ratings for GOOG

May 2020Deutsche BankMaintainsBuy
Apr 2020UBSMaintainsBuy
Apr 2020Credit SuisseMaintainsOutperform

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