Google was recently slapped with a $2.71 billion fine by the European Commission’s antitrust comity. Google allegedly used unfair means to gain an advantage over it’s competitors in its shopping comparison service, often relegating other services to no higher than page 4 of its search results.
Google has been given 90 days to stop its unfair practices, or it will face fines of up to 5 per cent of the average daily worldwide turnover of its parent company Alphabet.
European Commission’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said:
“What google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules.
“Google has abused it’s market dominance in its search engine by promoting its own shopping comparison service and demoting its competitors.”
The decision follows a 7-year probe by the commission into Google’s practices in Europe. The decision also opens up to civil actions by individuals and companies that were harmed by Google’s uncompetitive practices. Google plans to review the commission’s decision in detail and has signaled its intention to appeal the decision.
The commission is also investigating two other cases against Google involving their Android operating system and AdSense, which runs targeted ads on websites.
Google isn’t the only U.S. tech firm the EU Commission is pursuing. Vestager is charging Apple with US$14.5 billion (EU 12.78) in back-taxes, and is also currently looking at cases against Amazon, Qualcomm, and Facebook. Critics are accusing Europe of being biased against American companies; however, officials deny that.
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