Monday, 12 November, 2018

Google cops $3.5 billion fine over 'anti-trust' behaviour

Fine Margrethe Vestager Fine Margrethe Vestager
Nellie Chapman | 29 June, 2017, 07:27

Google has 90 days to remedy the situation or it will face further financial penalties.

Search engine Google has been hit with a £2.1 billion fine for stifling competition and excessively promoting its own shopping service.

For those who haven't been following the development, Google was basically accused of promoting its own shopping sites over those like Amazon.

Representing the largest fine ever levied by the European Union Antitrust Commission, the €2.42 billion comes following a lengthy investigation into Google's practices regarding the Google Shopping comparison service in which companies pay Google for inclusion in the results.

WIRED: Google's Big EU Fine Isn't Just About The Money - "Today the EU's executive branch, the European Commission, also ordered Google to change the way it displays search results from its online shopping tool".

'Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. Algorithms were also created to demote other shopping services, with even the most highly ranked non-Google provider appearing on page four of a Google search result.

The fine follows a seven-year investigation by the EC after it received dozens of complaints from competitors claiming that Google abused its position as the world leader in search market.

Mr Walker, wrote: "When you shop online, you want to find the products you're looking for quickly and easily".

She said it denied consumers of a "genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation".

However, Google refuted the claim saying that it tries to show ads in ways that are helpful for buyers and sellers. 'We will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case'. For its part, Google has said it disagrees with the commission's finding and is considering appealing the case.

In addition to the fine, Google is required to give rival comparison shopping services equal treatment, and the company must explain how it will accomplish that.

As just a handful of largely American companies have become global tech monopolies, regulators in the United States have done little to deter anticompetitive practices. Since 95 percent of people using a Google search will click on one of the top ten results on the first page, this drastically reduces the traffic to competitors. She said hundreds of companies, including some based in the USA, complained about the way Google displayed its shopping service.