Google received a $2.7 billion fine for unfairly favoring its own search services over its rivals
On Tuesday, Google suffered a tremendous regulatory hit after the European antitrust officials fined the company $2.7 billion. Apparently, Google has favored its own search services over its competitors, thing that did not go unnoticed by the European Commission antitrust officials.
This fine marks the most recent chapter in a long standoff between Europe and Google, which also faces two other charges under the region’s competitions rules connected to its popular mobile software, Android, as well as to some of its advertising products. Google decided to deny all the accusations.
By imposing the fine (the biggest one in an antitrust case), Europe’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager came as the Western world’s most severe regulator of digital services.
Ms. Vestager has already requested that Apple repay $14.5 billion in back taxes in Ireland. Moreover, it opened an ongoing investigation into Amazon’s tax practices, while also raising concerns about Facebook’s dominance over people’s digital data. As expected, the companies deny any sort of wrongdoing.
This high level of focus on Silicon Valley companies has prompted accusations from some in the U.S. That Europe is unfairly targeting American companies. Officials strongly deny these claims.
However, with the antitrust fine against Google, European officials have gone further than the American counterparts when it comes to determining what is right and what is not in the digital area.
“What Google has done is illegal under E.U. 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.” Ms. Vestager said in a statement
Google insisted several times that it has not breached Europe’s tough competition rules, mentioning that its digital services have helped Europe’s digital economy to grow and are currently used by millions of Europeans. It also added that there is still significant competition in Europe, such as Amazon and eBay.