European Union slams Google with a $2.7 bn antitrust fine

This is one of the biggest fines that the EU has imposed on a single company after a $1.06bn antitrust fine on Intel.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Antitrust regulators of the European Union have come down heavily on Google by imposing a whopping $2.7 bn antitrust fine and warning the search engine leader it will take a tough line on two other cases too. 

The European Union Commission in a press release said, ‘the world's most popular internet search engine has 90 days to stop favouring its own shopping service or face a further penalty of up to 5% of Alphabet's average daily global turnover.’ 

This is one of the biggest fine that the EU has imposed on a single company after the $1.06bn antitrust fine that was handed to Intel in 2009. 

The release said that the Commission found during its investigations that the search engine had,’ systematically given prominent placement in searches to its own comparison shopping service’, while demoting those of its rivals in the search results. 

In a statement to the media, Margrethe Vestager, European Competition Commissioner said, "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.” 

This action comes after 7 years of long investigation after scores of complaints were given to the EU Commission by Google’s rivals such as Yelp, Foundem, NewsCorp, FairSearch and TripAdvisor.

This is the biggest setback for the search engine giant in regulatory matters after 2013, when it settled with its US enforcers to stop ‘scraping’ the reviews of its rivals for its own products. 

The EU has also charged Google of crushing its rivals using its Android mobile operating system and of blocking its rivals in online search advertising.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jun 27, 2017 12:00 IST