European Union regulators have on Tuesday (27/06/17) fined Google with a record €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) for allegedly manipulating its search results to favour its products over rivals’.
According to the EU, the decision was made after they established that Google had “denied consumers a genuine choice” by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform.
“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,” indicated Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s top antitrust official.
Google in its reply noted that it “respectfully” disagreed with the EU decision, which followed a seven-year investigation, and was considering an appeal.
“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,” Kent Walker, the company’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.
Google insisted that it “shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.”
According to Reuters, it is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06-billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel (INTC.O) in 2009.
Google was also charged with using its Android mobile operating system to crush rivals, a case that could potentially be the most damaging for the company, with the system used in most smartphones.
Google is an American multinational technology company that specialises in Internet – related services and products.
They include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
The company was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California.