EU fines Google a record 2.42 billion euros

EU fines Google a record 2.42 billion euros”

Google has been fined a record 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) after European Union antitrust regulators concluded the first stage of their three-pronged probe into the world's most popular search engine.

The primary target of the case is Google Shopping, a price comparison feature built into the Google search engine.

The European Commission said that Google has 90 days to stop its unfair practices or Alphabet shall face a further penalty of up to 5 per cent of it's average daily global turnover. It may get fined up to 10 percent of its annual revenue about $ 9 billion for each investigation.

"Google's market dominance has given the company power to decide the fate of all but the biggest online service providers - in other words almost every company", said Fairsearch, a lobby of complainants, in a statement.

In the Android case, the European Union is investigating whether Google is crushing its rivals in the apps and services market by insisting Google services are pre-installed on all phones running Android.

Companies that pay for the tech giant's G Suite of products, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Sheets, have never had their messages scanned for advertising purposes, and Google said its free email package will now follow suit. Even on a desktop, the ten highest-ranking generic search results on page 1 together generally receive approximately 95 percent of all clicks on generic search results (with the top result receiving about 35 percent of all the clicks). These sudden drops could also not be explained by other factors. It also actively demotes rivals in its results through use of algorithms, making them less visible to consumers.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, lauded Google for the "innovative products and services" that it has created to make a positive difference to our lives. That's a good thing.

The European Commission found that the USA tech giant used its search results to unfairly steer customers to its own shopping platform in a case that dates to 2010. This means that other small players no longer have a fair chance to attract customers for the same products as the results are already biased towards Google.

BGR India has reached out to Google to know more about EU's ruling. In response, Alphabet General Counsel Kent Walker said in an emailed statement to MarketWatch: "We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today".

The decision comes less than a year after Vestager shocked Washington and the world with an order that iPhone manufacturer Apple repay 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland. "We compete with Amazon and other sites for shopping-related searches by showing ever more useful product information". "Left unchecked, there are few limits to this gatekeeper power".

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