EU fines Google a record $2.7 billion

Internet giant accused of favoring its own results in searches, making customers purchase its products over others.

Gary Willig,

Google HQ in New York
Google HQ in New York
Serge Attal/Flash 90

The European Union slapped internet and social media giant Google with a record 2.42 billion euro ($2.72 billion) fine for violating EU anti-trust laws, the New York Post reported.

EU regulators said that Google illegally promotes its own price comparison service in searches, preventing users from finding other services.

EU official in charge of competition policy, commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters Tuesday that

"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.”

The Silicon Valley tech giant was given 90 days to cease all illegal activities or face additional fines of up to €10.6 million ($12 million) a day, or 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Google rejected the findings and said in a statement: “When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily. And advertisers want to promote those same products."

“That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.

“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.”