Google fined by €2.42 billion by European Commission after breaching EU antitrust rules

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The antitrust sanction also forces Google to end the conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. “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,” the EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

antitrust-EU
The EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, antitrust chief

“Google Shopping” allows consumers to compare products and prices online and find deals from online retailers of all types, including online shops of manufacturers, platforms (such as Amazon and eBay), and other re-sellers. Google has given its own comparison shopping service a significant advantage compared to rivals. Evidence shows that even the most highly ranked rival service appears on average only on page four or even further down of Google’s search results. According the EU’s policies, dominant companies have a special responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition. Before decision to penalize Google, the Commission conducted an extensive market investigation of customers and competitors and analyzed about 5.2 Terabytes of actual search results from Google (around 1.7 billion search queries). The fine has been calculated on the basis of the value of Google’s revenue from its comparison shopping service in the EU countries concerned. “We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal”, an official position of Google in Europe said.

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