Google is Subject to a € 2.42 Billion Fine

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Google is Subject to a € 2.42 billion fine
Google is subject to a € 2.42 billion penalty by the European Union for violating antiturst related regulations. This decision was made after a seven-year investigation of the US search company's algorithm.

The investigation ended with the decision that Google had abused their position as market leader systematically by prioritizing their own price comparison service.


The Google penalty broke the record of the biggest fine ever awarded by the EU's executive body, the European Commission, beating a penalty imposed on Intel in 2009 of € 1 billion, The Verge reported.

The main target of the case is Google Shopping, a price comparison feature embedded directly in the Google search engine.

In the Commission's antitrust documents it is mentioned that Google makes it harder for competitors to get traffic to their site because it prioritizes their own price comparison feature. The EU argued, Google is very dominant in Europe and they should not be allowed to complicate their competitors.


As part of this decision, Google will be required to change the way their search algorithm determines site rankings in order to provide equal opportunity to other price comparison services. If Google does not comply with this request, then they will be penalized per day.

In an official statement, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager praised Google for producing innovative products and services. However, he also said, Google has abused its position as a dominant search engine by promoting its own price comparison service.

"What Google is doing is banned under EU antitrust rules," Vestager said. "They are eliminating other companies' opportunities to compete based on their ability, and most importantly, they make European consumers lose the choice of profits to be gained from innovation."


Google may file an appeal in an EU court, which may delay the final decision of this case for years to come.

The company said, "We respectfully declare disagreement with the decision announced today, we will review the decision of the Commission along with consideration of appeals and we can not wait to continue our case."
 

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