Google hit with staggering 2.42-billion euro fine

Google will have to fork out a €2.42-billion fine, after the European Commission found it guilty of abusing its dominance as a search engine.

The European Commission said Google, which has a comparison shopping service, exploited its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own product in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.

Not only has Google been found to have breached antitrust rules with the European Commission, but it’s actions are also found to have been illegal.

The fine itself is enormous, but among Google’s biggest fears at this juncture is the prospect of being shackled by extensive European Union oversight, in everything that it does, for several years. A trust deficit has been created.

The matter is compounded by the fact that Google has actually received objections from the European Union twice before – in April 2015 and again in July 2016. It would appear both of those objections were ignored.

The company has also been ordered to put and end to its conduct within the next three months or risk being penalised with additional payments of up to 5 percent of parent company, Alphabet’s daily worldwide turnover.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is in charge of competition policy at the European Union and has made it painstakingly clear that an example would be made of Google, despite the many positive contributions that the company has made to the European community.

“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,” said Vestager.

“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.