11:48 AM, Jun 27, 2017 — European Union antitrust regulators imposed a 2.42 billion euro ($2.72 billion) fine on Alphabet’s Google, saying the search engine abused its dominant position by favoring its own comparison shopping service over competitors in search results.
Google was given 90 days to end the practice or it could face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of its parent Alphabet, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the European Commission, which oversees competition policy for the trading bloc.
“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,” Margrethe Vestager, EU commissioner in charge of competition, said. “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.”
Google said it’s considering appealing against the decision, Reuters reported, citing Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel.
“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today,” Walker said, according to the report. “We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”
The commission ordered Google to give equal treatment to rival comparison shopping services and its own service by applying the same processes and methods to position and display rival comparison shopping services in Google’s search results pages as it gives to its own comparison shopping service.
Google has other two ongoing investigations at the commission. The regulator said in earlier preliminary decisions that Google abused its dominance regarding its the Android operating system and AdSense advertizing platform.
Companies: Alphabet Inc.
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