Google Fine – Abuse of Market Dominance
The Google Fine: Google has received a record-breaking fine of €2.4 billion over its abuse of power when building their shopping comparison service. It comes after a 7-year long investigation by the European Commission.
The EU describes a misuse of market dominance in the search engine sector that is giving them an illegal advantage against competitors for one of its products, their shopping comparison service.
Regulators from the European Union have given Google 90 days to stop its illegal activities or face fines of up to 5% of the daily turnover of parent company Alphabet.
“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results and demoting those of competitors.
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.”
Google denies the claims. They insist that they package results in a way that makes products easy to find for consumers.
So Google has yet another conundrum to deal with. We’ve recently spoken about how Google pledged to tighten its grip on extremist content. They also hope to filter out bad ads with their very own ad blocker.
Aside from the Google fine and threats in regards to abusing their power, Google is also currently under investigation for two other cases of abusing their dominant position. According to the European Commission:
- The Android Operating System – “Google has stifled choice and innovation in a range of mobile apps and services. By pursuing an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in general internet search”.
- AdSense – “Google has reduced choice by preventing third-party websites from sourcing search ads from its competitors”.
The Commission also continues to examine Google’s treatment in its search results of other specialised Google services.