Liberal-leaning, mega corporation Google is facing serious legal trouble after anti-trust regulators in the European Union slammed the company with a $2.7 billion fine for allegedly favoring its shopping service over others in search results.
Dozens of competitors in the United States and Europe claimed that Google abused its search market dominance to give its own shopping service an advantage over other retailers.
Google Shopping has evolved since it was first rolled out in the early 2000s. Over the years, it has made its advertisements more prominent in searches, appearing at the very top of the search results page when users shop online.
“Google has abused its dominance as a search engine by giving illegal advantages to another Google product, its shopping comparison service,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters, according to CNBC.
Vestager claimed Google wasn’t working to attract customers by making its product better than rivals anymore.
“Google has abused its market dominance in its search engine by promoting its own shopping comparison site in its search results and demoting its competitors,” she said.
The fine — about 2.4 billion euros — is the biggest ever levied on a single company in an antitrust case, Reuters reported.
The commission said the search engine has 90 days to stop favoring its own shopping service and give equal treatment to rival services or face a further penalties.
It’s up to Google to choose how to do that.
The irony here is that Google executives have made no secret that they prefer Democrats to Republicans — that’s why they supported Hillary Clinton in the election last. But it’s exactly the Democrats’ kind of big-government philosophy that’s behind the EU’s fining google $2.7 billion.
Somewhere, President Donald Trump is probably laughing.
In a statement, Google attorney Kent Walker disputed the charge and said he company will consider an appeal.
“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,” the statement said.
This is bad news for Google. While the fine would hardly break Google’s bank, the company faces the likelihood of less ad revenue.
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