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Google Hit with Record EU Fine

Google Hit with Record EU Fine

Google has been fined €2.4bn by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping service.    

The fine is the regulators largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market.   

The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices or face a further penalty.   

If the firm fails to change the way it operates the shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.

The commission said it was leaving it to Google to determine what alterations should be made to its shopping service, rather than specifying a solution.

The European Union’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said: "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules.

"It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation."

She added that the decision could now set a precedent for how related complaints are handled.

The European Commission has been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010 and the probe was spurred on by complaints from Microsoft, amongst others.

Google has rejected the commission’s findings and intends to appeal.

A company spokesman 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.

“That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.

“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.”

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