Google hit with record $2.7B antitrust fine in Europe

The cases agaisnt Google have stoked tensions with Washington and could now face the wrath of US President Donald Trump, who won office on his'America First slogan

Google has been slapped with a record-breaking $2.7 billion fine by the European Commission for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service.

Google has been pushing its own comparison-shopping service since 2008, systematically giving it prominent placement when people search for an item, the European Union said.

Alphabet Inc.'s Google has 90 days to "stop its illegal conduct" and give equal treatment to rival price-comparison services, according to a binding order from the European Commission yesterday.

The official release about the fine says the Google Shopping decision " is a precedent, which can be used as a framework to analyse the legality" of the other Google products.

In a separate case, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Android, Google's operating system for smartphones, and its advertising business. "That's a good thing", Vestager told reporters, as she announced the fine, the largest ever made in an antitrust case.

This is the biggest setback for the search engine giant in regulatory matters after 2013, when it settled with its U.S. enforcers to stop "scraping" the reviews of its rivals for its own products.

She added that what Google has done is illegal under European Union antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate.

The company will review the decision and consider an appeal.

Kashmiris, Sikhs protest near White House on Modi's arrival
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Vestager said Google's competitors could claim compensation in national courts within the EU. And it's going to cost Google over AUD$4B in fines.

The European Commission has handed down a staggering €2.4 billion fine in one of its antitrust probes against Alphabet subsidiary Google.

This landmark ruling defines a new type of anti-competitive behaviour, preventing companies with a market share from favouring certain products, and goes some way to updating the outdated competition framework to deal with the tech sector.

"When you shop online, you want to find the products you're looking for quickly and easily", Walker said.

Google argued its data showed people preferred links taking them directly to products they want and not to websites where they have to repeat their search.

Google's General Counsel also noted how some businesses tend to do better than others across industries, possibly implying that the EC shouldn't be punishing companies that adapt to contemporary technologies and demands faster than others.

The Commission did not specify what changes Google had to make.

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