EU Fines Google $2.7 Billion

EU Fines Google $2.7 Billion

EU Fines Google $2.7 Billion

Margrethe Vestager the European Commissioner for Competition commented on the fine saying that not only did Google promote its own service but it went further and demoted those of its competitors.

Google has been fined 2.42bn by the European Union Commission in regards to the Google Shopping service which it judges to e anti-competitive.

"We're on the brink of doing more oral search, which of course poses new challenges, when it comes to enabling people to have a choice, when it comes to search results, to make sure they get the right answer to their queries", said European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager in a March interview.

“Red shoes” in Google Product Search. Google
“Red shoes” in Google Product Search. Google

The reason given is that the company favored its own comparison shopping product over others when displaying suggestions in Google Search.

It is the biggest regulatory setback for Google, which settled with United States enforcers in 2013 with a requirement to stop "scraping" reviews and other data from rival websites for its own products. The investigation dates back to 2010, and was triggered by complaints from other price-comparison websites that said Google had relegated their services in its search results.

This fine on Google is the largest antitrust judgement handed out by the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, and beats a 1 billion Euros penalty given to Intel in 2009.

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Google has consistently denied any wrongdoing and this ruling will deal a sharp blow to the group, especially because online shopping searches are one of the company's most important sources of sales growth. "We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today", it continued.

The company will review the decision and consider an appeal.

Google faced a fine of up to 10% of annual sales, or about $9 billion.

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French drugs giant Servier, Teva and five other drug companies were fined €427.7 million in July 2014 for colluding to delay the introduction of a generic version of perindopril, a popular blood pressure treatment. "When you shop online, you want to find the products you're looking for quickly and easily", the company said in a statement. She said that there were many exchanges with Google to hear their views.

Reuters points out that this is the biggest punishment imposed by the Commission on a company to date, far exceeding the €1.06 billion sanction against the USA chipmaker Intel in 2009.

In a statement, Google said it shows ads in ways helpful to both buyers and sellers.

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