Google Faces $9B Fine in Europe For Manipulating What Users See
An investigation by the European Commission into questionable business practices that directed user searches to Google’s own shopping services is likely to result in a massive anti-competition penalty for the Mountain View, California giant.
An EU source tells Reuters the fine could come within the next two months.
On three occasions, Google has sought to settle the accusations before they became a legal concern. Each effort ended in defeat.
Rigging search results is an unfair market distortion, Google’s critics complain, that ultimately harms consumers and other search engines. Google’s rivals have sent anti-trust concerns to the EU competition council for years. Under EU rules, firms found in violation of competitiveness regulations can receive a fine worth 10 percent of yearly turnover. For Alphabet’s subsidiary, this translates to about $9 billion and change.
In addition to the financial loss, regulators may create a new set of rules specifically tailored for
Google in order to level the competitive playing field.
Google is also the subject of two other EU probes that have yet to be completed.
Meanwhile, 85 percent of internet advertising revenue growth in 2017 will funnel directly to Google and Facebook, Axios reported June 1.