EU fines Google record $2.7B in antitrust ruling

Regulators find company’s search engine gives unfair advantage to its shopping service

EU fines Google record $2.7B in antitrust ruling

World Bulletin / News Desk

European Union regulators fined Google nearly $3 billion Tuesday because of the company’s alleged anticompetitive dominance as a search engine.

The fine against Google’s parent, Alphabet, is the largest ever imposed by the EU against a single company for violating antitrust regulations and is the end of the first of three investigations by the EU peering into Alphabet’s Internet and smartphone businesses.

Specifically, the European Commission, the EU’s regulatory institution, found Google’s supremacy in the search engine industry allowed it to give an unfair boost to its own comparison shopping service displayed in search results.

Google controls 92 percent of the worldwide search engine market share on all platforms, according to Internet traffic analyst StatCounter. It also accounts for nearly that amount of the market share in Europe.

"Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives,” European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who in charge of competition policy, said in a statement. “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.”

The Commission found Google hurt European businesses and customers.

“It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate,” Vestager said. “And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.”

Google has 90 days to change its policies or face additional fines, the Commission said.

“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today,” Google attorney Kent Walker said in a statement. “We will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”

Shares of Google dipped nearly 2 percent in afternoon trading Tuesday to $954.47.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Haziran 2017, 00:51