EU fines Google €2.4bn over abuse of search dominance https://t.co/tyFdKm7vOB
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) 27 juni 2017
The European Commission fined Google for “abuse of power”, and with €2.4 billion it is the largest fine the EU has ever handed out for such a misdemeanour. The fine followed an investigation that took seven years. Back then, Google received complaints about abusing its dominance in searches, giving preference to its own advertisements. There were three attempts to settle the case, but in 2014, Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, decided to prosecute.
There is a possibility more fines will be handed out to Google. The European Commission is also investigating Google’s competition cases concerning Android for mobile phones, and AdSense, Google’s advertisement product. Google, on the other hand, believes there is no case, and they were even optimistic earlier this week, stating:
“We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and we believe strongly that our innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers and competition.”
Google did say it believes the evidence is false and is surprised that the European Commission does not look at Google’s competitors Amazon and eBay. Google also states that many complaints are from 2008, and a lot has since changed within the company.
It is not the first time an American company is fined by Brussels, Vestager has already drawn the ‘attention’ of corporate America with her decision last year to force Apple to pay €13bn in back taxes in Ireland. Vestager and the Commission have denied any intention to target US companies. At the time of the verdict against Apple, she stated:
“If you look at our practice, then you cannot find a US bias. You cannot find the statistics to back up any kind of bias.”