EU fines Google USD 2.4bn for adding to its own cart

Search engine giant has 90 days to stop favouring its own shopping service or face more penalty

The fine, equivalent to 3 percent of Alphabet’s turnover, is the biggest regulatory setback for Google. PIC FOR REPRESENTATION/AFP
The fine, equivalent to 3 percent of Alphabet’s turnover, is the biggest regulatory setback for Google. PIC FOR REPRESENTATION/AFP

EU 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 is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06-billion-euro sanction handed down to US chipmaker Intel in 2009.

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

The fine, equivalent to 3 percent of Alphabet's turnover, is the biggest regulatory setback for Google.

The EU competition enforcer has also charged Google with using its Android mobile operating system to crush rivals. The company has also been accused of blocking rivals in online search advertising.

The Commission found that Google, with a market share in searches of over 90 per cent in most European countries, had systematically given prominent placement in searches to its own comparison shopping service and demoted those of rivals in search results.

 

What's next for Google?
Google may choose to appeal in EU courts, but Intel, the previous antitrust fine record holder, has waited seven years for a final judgment on its appeal. Google remains under Commission investigation in two other cases.

 

$12mn Penalty payment per day if Google fails to comply with order
$90bn Alphabet's 2016 turnover

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