Google to face record fine of 3 billion Euros by EU
A British newspaper, The Telegraph has reported that the European Commission is going to levy a fine of 3 billion Euros against Google for manipulating search results and promoting its own services by taking advantage of its dominant position in the market. The EU believes that Google is abusing its search monopoly, practicing anti-competitive methods and violating anti-trust laws.
According to Reuters, the company has tried to settle the charges against it at least three times and offered to make changes to how results are displayed in its search engine. The investigation started in the year 2010, when the European Commission accused Google of manipulating the search results to stifle competition in order to gain the upper hand in the market.
The European Commission claimed that Google was making manufacturers pre-install Google search, Gmail, YouTube and Chrome browser on their devices. The company is also charged for unfairly restricting companies from developing alternative operating system that are based on open-source Android platform.
Google can face the maximum penalty of 10 percent of its annual revenue, which amounts to $7.5 billion. The maximum fine levied by the European Commission for unfair competition was $1.4 billion, in the year 2009 to tech giant Intel.
The European Commission has also ordered Google to change it search algorithms to be in accordance to the European laws. The British newspaper, The Telegraph also reported that the company will be banned from favoring its own services over those of its competitors and provide more transparent search results that will be impartial and free from any form of manipulation.
Google has been fighting against the European Commission for the past seven years. The commission is primarily focused on Google’s shopping search service, which regulators have argued that the company favored over the competitors. The commission instructed Google to provide suggestions for altering its search programs to comply with European laws in 2012. The company published a response in 2013, but it failed to alleviate the concerns of the European Commission. In the year 2014, the commission accepted some of Google’s revised proposal, but the settlement between Google and the European Commission didn’t go as far, with the final decision being postponed. When the European Commission’s Competition Commissioner was replaced in 2014, the commission issued “non-binding resolutions against the “search engine bundling” and the company in general.
The Telegraph has expressed that the ruling will be made public by the European Commission, sometime in the next month. Neither Google, nor the European Commission has issued any comment regarding the matter.