EU hammers Google with $2.7 billion antitrust fine for illegal search manipulation
The European Commission has wrapped up its antitrust investigation against Google, and has decreed that it must pay $2.72 billion to settle charges related to it favoring its own products over rivals in search results.
"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 European Commission Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. "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."
Vestager elaborated on the settlement, saying that the penalty was for denying consumers choices, and illegally blocking other companies from fair competition.
Google has 60 days to tell the European Commission how it will accomplish the order, and 90 days to comply with the ruling and stop the search manipulation or additional fines will be imposed. The European Commission can assess up to five percent of Alphabet's daily average worldwide revenue as a penalty, resulting in payments of $12.3 million per day should it persist.
Google believes that the decision is in error, and will likely appeal.