Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

European Commission Slaps A 2.4 Billion Euro Fine On Google

European Commission Slaps A 2.4 Billion Euro Fine On Google

It's understood that Google's practises have been under investigation since 2010 and were initially instigated following complaints by Microsoft. "And most importantly, it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice of services and innovation".

WIRED: Google's Big EU Fine Isn't Just About The Money - "Today the EU's executive branch, the European Commission, also ordered Google to change the way it displays search results from its online shopping tool". Following the demotions applied by Google, traffic to rival comparison shopping services on the other hand dropped significantly. By making sure that its own online shopping options are more prominent than that of others, Google was found to be guilty of violating said laws.

The EU is calling on Google to "end the conduct" within 90 days or risk "penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company", the commission says.

Google may still appeal the decision, according to Macquarie. The website is said to be giving its own Google Shopping service an unfair advantage over other retailers.

The fine signalled a tough stance by the agency in the first of three investigations into the company's dominance in searches and smartphones. Macquarie Research thinks that while the practice probably is unfair, the fine severely limits Google's ability to refine and improve its core product, which could mean big headwinds for Google in Europe. That's why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both. This isn't necessarily wrong, but it shows that the EC values a fair market more than good products.

It is the biggest fine the European Union has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06 billion Euro sanction handed down to United States chipmaker Intel in 2009. "This is a very well established type of infringement of the European Union competition rules".

"We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today".

"We will review the commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case". Oracle, Yelp and others reportedly sent Vestager a letter this week saying they "have watched Google undermine competition in the United States and overseas".

"We strongly believe that the abuse of algorithms by dominant digital platforms should be of concern to every country and company seeking a fair, competitive and creative society".

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