The European Union has imposed a record €2.42bn ($2.72bn) fine on technology giant Google, for breaching anti-trust rules and abusing its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.
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
Google’s flagship product is the Google search engine, which provides search results to consumers, who pay for the service with their data. Almost 90% of Google’s revenues stem from adverts, such as those it shows consumers in response to a search query.
In the words of EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager: “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.”
“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 innovation.”
Google’s conduct must end the within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.