Google Slapped with a 2.42 Billion Euros Fine by EU Over Illegal Practices

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Seven years ago, Microsoft and other companies launched a complain that Google was using its dominance, especially in search, to push its own products and suppress competitors.

Since then, the EU has been investigating Google over these claims and the search giant has been found guilty of unfairly promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.

“Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors,” Said Margrethe Vestager, EU commissioner in charge of competition policy.

“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing,” Vestager said in a press conference. “But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals.

According to the EU, Google denied other companies a chance to compete fairly. The European regulators further claim that Google denied European consumers “a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.”

Google has been fined 2.42 billion Euros ($2.7 billion) following a ruling that found the company guilty. The ruling requires Google not only pays the fine but also ends its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty of 5% of its parent company’s daily revenue.

Google, through a spokesperson, said that it may appeal the ruling after reviewing the Commission’s decision in detail.

“When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily, and advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.” said the spokesperson.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of Google woes as the union is still pursuing two more cases against the tech giant.

One case touches on Android and accuses Google of making it difficult for competitors to pre-install apps and have alternative search engines on the mobile operating system.

The other accuses Google of using AdSense to limit the kinds of ads that appear on websites that use the platform.

VIAThe Guardian
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