Several years ago, Google made multiple, unsuccessful attempts to settle the matter with former European Commission competition chief Joaquín Almunia.
Now the results are in, and the Competition Commission has found that the internet giant systematically abuses its dominance in search to promote its own shopping services.
In reply to this Google came up with a clear statement and said: ‘When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily.’And advertisers want to promote those same products.
The ruling orders Google to stop its illegal behaviour within 90 days or face a further penalty, which could be anywhere up to 5% of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.
Google’s long-time battle with the European anti-trust commission ended today with the American company being slapped with a record $2.7 billion fine for gaming search results.
In a separate case, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Android, Google’s operating system for smartphones, and its advertising business.
Google defended its approach to presenting search results, saying that it disagrees with the EU’s decision and that it will consider an appeal after it reviews the details.
“These sudden drops could not be explained by other factors”.
According to the conditions of the fine, Google now has 90 days in which to cease these activities, and it must inform the European Union of how it intends to do that inside 60 days.
Additionally, because evidence shows that consumers click far more often on results that are more visible, or appear higher in search results, Google is giving its own comparison shopping service a significant advantage compared to rivals, according to the Commission. “And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation”, the Danish politician said. It will be interesting to see what Google does next in this case. However, the Commission is also facing criticism for the harsh way it tackles companies like Facebook, Google and Apple.
This decision establishes a precedent for examining the legality of this kind of behaviour by companies, and the Commission has warned that Google may be be open to civil actions from people or businesses that have been negatively impacted by its conduct. The other is regarding AdSense and Google’s prevention of “third-party websites from sourcing search ads from Google’s competitors”. But instead of scanning a user’s email, the ads will now be targeted with other personal information Google already pulls from sources such as search and YouTube.