Google has been under investigation for some times now over an
allegation of abuse of its power as the leading search engine, in order
to promote Google Shopping over its rivals in the price-comparison
market. The probe is conducted by the EU.
has now been fined €2.42 billion ($2.72 billion) by the European
Commission, after it found Google guilty of breaching EU antitrust
rules. The tech titan
must halt the practice of dishonestly promoting
its service over others via its search engine within 90 days, or it will
face a penalty of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of
its parent, Alphabet. Needless to say, that’s a lot of money.
to watchdogs, Google’s unlawful practices have led to some of its
rivals losing up to 92% of their traffic. The official press release
states that some competitors were able to recover a portion of their
lost traffic, “but never in full.”
“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have
made a difference to our lives,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in
charge of competition policy, said.
“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.
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