Monday, 20 November, 2017

European Union hits Google with $2.7bn fine

Google holds more than 90 per cent of the market in online search across Europe Google holds more than 90 per cent of the market in online search across Europe. Marcio Jose Sanchez
Sammy Stanley | 30 June, 2017, 00:27

The EU detailed what it said were years of abuses by Google, including demoting the results of rivals and artificially promoting its own shopping service above all other results.

On June 27, Google was hit with its largest ever fine for favouring its own shopping service over rivals in search engine results.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the European Commission for Competition said that the fine was administered because Google has given "an illegal advantage" to itself over its competitors.

The commission said it came up with the initial fee of $2.7 billion based on the value of Google's revenue from its comparison shopping service in the 13 European Union countries affected.

However, the case is unlikely to end here as Google disagrees with the Commission's findings and has indicated that it is likely to appeal the decision in the next two months.

In a separate case, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Android, Google's operating system for smartphones, and its advertising business. It wasn't just about making its product better than those of its rivals.

The EU says that Google doesn't subject its own service to its algorithm, which ranks search results on quality and relevance to the user. It has denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate.

Google senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker said in a blog post that the company is considering appealing the decision. Search? Now, the European Union has slapped Mountain View with a fine for 2.4 billion euros, €2,424,495,000 to be exact (2.7 billion USD).

United States chipmaker Intel was hit with a fine of €1.06 billion euros after the European Commission finds that the company had offered clients price rebates to use its own computer chips in preference to those of its rival AMD.

Walker said the search results displayed by the company are "the result of hard work and constant innovation, based on user feedback".

"When you shop online, you want to find the products you are looking for quickly and easily".

Reuters points out that this is the biggest punishment imposed by the Commission on a company to date, far exceeding the €1.06 billion sanction against the U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009. And advertisers want to promote those same products.

"We think our current shopping results are useful and are a much-improved version of the text-only ads we showed a decade ago".

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