* EU says not formal complaint on Google tax deals
* Vestager says strengthening Google antitrust cases
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Oct 10 EU regulators who are
investigating whether Alphabet unit Google is abusing
its market power have has not extended their scrutiny to its tax
deals with national authorities across Europe, the EU's
antitrust chief said on Monday.
Margrethe Vestager, who in recent months ordered Apple
to pay up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in back
taxes to Ireland and Starbucks up to 30 million euros
to the Dutch tax office, said Google was not on her radar for
"So far, no, we have nothing formal on that one," Vestager
She said she had not received any formal complaint from the
Scottish National Party which in January sent a letter to the
European Commission concerning Google's 130-million-pound ($160
million) back tax deal with British tax authorities which some
British politicians criticised as a derisory amount.
Vestager also defended the slow pace of the Commission's
antitrust cases against Google, saying she wanted the shopping
case to be water-tight. This first case has dragged on since
2010 when her predecessor kicked off the investigation.
"I am as sorry as you and everyone else that antitrust work
is taking a lot of time," she told European lawmakers earlier on
"But it is also a sign that this is a case that is building
in its strength as well as a case which is of course strictly
following our procedures to make sure that also here we build up
the rule of law."
Vestager said she did not know when she would issue a
decision but the case was a very high priority for her.
In the shopping case, Google has been accused of favouring
its shopping service over those of rivals in internet search
results. It has also been charged with blocking rivals in online
search advertising and doing the same with dominant Android
mobile operating system.
The Commission has warned the company of hefty fines in both
the shopping and Android cases and changes in its business
practices if it is eventually found guilty of wrongdoing.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)