Google Fined $2.7 Billion Over Search Engine Results
A record-breaking fine of $2.7 (€2.4bn) Billion has been slammed on Google by the European Union for abusing its competitive edge of the search engine market by illegally favouring its shopping service.
The tech giant was given 90 days to cease all its illegal activities or face fine equivalent to 5% of the worldwide daily average turnover of parent company, Alphabet.
The decision came amid a seven-year long investigation necessitated by several complaints from competitors such as Yelp, Foundem, TripAdvisor, News Corp and FairSearch.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner in charge of competition policy said “Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing. 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. Instead, 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”
She added that Google’s action was illegal within the ambit of EU Antitrust rules by denying other companies a fair playing ground to compete on the merits and to innovate. The company, according to her also “denied the European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation”
Nevertheless, Google has denied the claims and maintains that it renders it search results in such a way as to tailor it to consumers’ preferences to make it easier for them to find what they want.