Google Fined £2.1 Billion for Abusing Being Google

By Gary Cutlack on at

The European Commission has done the sums and decided to hit Google with a vast fine of €2.42 billion (£2.14bn), as its long-running investigation into Google's abuse of being Google reaches its conclusion.

The antitrust investigation focused on the shopping results generated when you search for an item though Google's omnipresent text box. The EU says Google unfairly gave its own comparison tools an advantage within the results -- and demoted the rankings of similar schemes run by outside retailers -- limiting competition and funneling more shoppers to Google's own shopping tool.

Google has 90 days to stop doing this, or the EU says it will increase the fine on a daily basis by five per cent of the worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's technical owner.

The EU's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "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."

Which, they say, stopped EU customers from receiving a genuine choice. [EU]

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