Google says it is considering appeal against EU antitrust fine

  • Google says it is considering appeal against EU antitrust fine

Google says it is considering appeal against EU antitrust fine

The European Commission said the world's most popular internet search engine based in Mountain View, California has 90 days to stop favoring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day of up to 5 percent of Alphabet's average daily global turnover.

Today's fine is the largest antitrust judgement handed out by the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, and beats a €1 billion penalty given to Intel in 2009.

European Union antitrust regulators hit Alphabet unit Google with a record 2.42-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine on Tuesday, taking a tough line in the first of three investigations into the company's dominance in searches and smartphones.

"It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation". That's a good thing.

The decision could now set a precedent that determines how the EU's civil service handles related complaints about the prominence Google gives to its own maps, flight price results and local business listings within its search tools. "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", EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. Today's judgement also opens up the possibility of other companies to take civil action suits against Google.

Google said in a statement that it tries to show ads in ways that are helpful for buyers and sellers.

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

The EU's allegations strike at the heart of a type of online advertising known as Product Listing Ads, or PLAs, that is growing at nearly three times the rate of traditional text-based search ads, according to digital marketing firm Merkle Inc. "We look forward to continuing to make our case", a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Vestager said that from 2008, Google began to implement in European markets a fundamental change in strategy to push its comparison shopping service.

Facebook was fined by antitrust regulators in May for misleading officials over its takeover of messaging service WhatsApp.

Europe's decision to punish marks a sharp departure from the approach taken by US regulators, who closed their antitrust probe of Google's search business without significant penalty in 2013.

April 2016 - The EU charges Google with using Android to gain market advantage in mobile apps.

"There can't have been many competition cases where the stakes for consumers, businesses, and innovation were any higher".

Her move against Google risks attracting further criticism that she's unfairly singled out United States companies. "We have watched Google undermine competition in the United States and overseas", it continues.

"When a company wields such power that it is effectively the gateway to the internet, it is the duty of regulators and lawmakers to verify that power is being exercised fairly".

Bad news for Google.

"We strongly believe that the abuse of algorithms by dominant digital platforms should be of concern to every country and company seeking a fair, competitive and creative society".

This is not the only regulatory headache Google faces in Europe.

The $2.7 billion fine represents just over 2.5% of Google's revenue past year and Alphabet, Google's owner, had $92.4 billion in cash as of end of March.