European Union slaps Google with $2.7B fine


The European Union slapped a record 2.42 billion-euro ($2.72 billion) fine on internet giant Google on Tuesday for taking advantage of its dominance in online searches to direct customers to its own online shopping business.

If Google fails to end its censured behavior, it faces additional penalties of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet for each day of non-compliance.

Google is disputing the findings of the seven-year investigation, which was prompted by complaints from companies like Yelp, TripAdvisor and NewsCorp. The EU has ordered the company to change the way its engine handles shopping requests within the next 90 days, or increasing fines will be levied. The Mountain View, Calif. -based company has opposed the charges for several years, saying that it actively competes with Amazon in the search engine market, as well as other companies.

The analyst said it was "unclear" how Google would go about eliminating its anti-competitive bias in order to satisfy the EU's demand, but he did come up with a few suggestions.

The penalty, of 2.4 billion euros, highlights the aggressive stance that European officials have taken in regulating numerous world's largest technology companies, going significantly further than their American counterparts.

"We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today", Google attorney Kent Walker said in a statement.

European Union regulators fined Google almost $3 billion Tuesday because of the company's alleged anticompetitive dominance as a search engine. It will probably change the way in which its "Shopping" results are shown, so consumers may find that they have to choose who provides the comparison at the top of a Google search. It also dwarfs the largest monopoly fine to date, a €1.06 billion ($1.9 billion) fine against Intel in 2008.

In a separate blog post in response to the European Union antitrust fine, Google SVP and general counsel Kent Walker says the company does not agree with the conclusions of the investigation and is considering a court appeal.

The company stopped short of admitting wrongdoing, claiming it was simply attempting to give users the best results for their search.

According to the report, Google rigged the search results to benefit its product comparison service Google Shopping. What happened immediately sparked controversy and tensions, with Washington even accusing Brussels of "anti-American bias".



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